Lacock Village and Abbey........the home of "Hogwarts"

You can't visit the surrounds of Bath without a visit to old things that are relevant to contemporary culture and so Harry Potter was definitely on the menu! The next day saw Glen and I visit Lacock National Trust Village, a glorious old village filled with thatched roof cottages, gardens and little shops. Originally an Abbey town, the old Tithe Barn, built in the 14th century, still smells of the ancient timbers and produce it once contained. We walked around the village, poking our heads into doorways and marvelling at the 'lean' on the fascia of many of the homes (which people still live in).

After quite a drive and then a long walk, we decided it was time for a "cuppa", so headed towards a glorious little tearoom with fragrant gardens and met Margaret, the lovely older lady who owns the establishment (and who hurt her back maintaining the garden). We had a "cream tea" and sat quietly in the gardens watching the giant bumble bees flit from one fragrant flowering plant to another. The garden itself was beautiful, but the furniture, crockery and cutlery that Margaret had been collecting for years were gorgeous.

This was again another experience of "going back in time". Not only was Harry Potter filmed in Lacock Village and at the Abbey, but also "Pride and Prejudice" and a number of other period dramas over the is an authentic environment (you can't create the same feel in a "back lot" of a film studio)! I must say I wouldn't have been surprised if "Mr. Darcy" (the Colin Firth version of course) had popped his head around the corner and on seeing me elegantly sipping my tea, said, "Miss, you are extraordinarily beautiful, would you like to join me for a tour of the gardens?" Of course in the Aussie vernacular, I can hear you all saying "tell her she's dreamin'!!" and of course I was!

From the tearooms, we strolled up to the Abbey, which was originally a true monastic community, founded prior to the 13 century by the Benedictines, but after the dissolution became a private home and manor house for the village, it's first custodian being William Sharrington. The monastic nature of the manor is still very evident, particularly when you move from the old dormitories (that were converted to bedrooms) into the original cloister areas which remain mostly as they would have been when they were walked in prayerful reflection by the members of the Benedictine religious community who called this place "home". The infirmary, Chapter House, Parlour, kitchens and store rooms remain mostly as they would have been originally, although why there are three stone caskets (empty ones thank goodness) in the store room, I can't tell you!

In the true spirit of Harry Potter, there is an enormous cauldron in the kitchen that is dated 1645 and stamped by the craftsman who made it....this just hasn't been put here to add more of a Harry Potter "feel", I checked underneath it and it is not an ornament, it's certainly been well used as it bears the scars of many a "roaring fire", so even if the people here died of pneumonia (because it is freezing cold in the cloisters), at least they died having eaten a nice hot pot of stew.

After ambling around the beautiful gardens (which seem to be well used by local kids, many of whom were swimming in the lake), and stumbling across a couple who were involved in activities of a very different nature, hidden in the long grass, Glen and I decided that was our cue to head for home. So I farewelled Lacock, a visit I had intended to be a brief one, but as it turned out had kept me totally engaged for the best part of a whole day.

1 comment:

Jane Fennessy said...

Isn't Mr Darcy meant to appear from out of the pond with wet clothes clinging to his body?