So I went to Lacock, which is a beautiful little village I have to say and feels like you have stepped back in time. I have heard about the cloisters here due to the Harry potter movies being filmed hear or at least two of the movies in parts. And being a fan I had to go and see them.
The Abbey cloisters and open courtyard is gorgeous. We watched a group of obnoxious girls move the ropes and walk through the courtyard. I was disappointed that the staff working there never said anything to them I have to say. The individual rooms were nice but there wasn’t much in there. There wasn’t even a guide, audio guide, or placards to tell you anything about the rooms. The signage and information (or lack of it) was extremely disappointing I have to say.
The Abbey hasn’t been an abbey for that many years: it’s actually become a stately home. It was founded as a nunnery in 1232, and when purchased by Sir William Sharington in 1539 he preserved much of the original layout and buildings. The Abbey grounds are very nice. The cloisters and other Abbey rooms are lovely but empty.
The actual cloisters consist of three sides of a central grassed square. Very beautiful ! Some rooms are also accessible from them, including a parlor (originally the only place nuns in a silent order were allowed to talk, from the French Parlez), which contains what looked to me like coffins made of stone. There’s also a ‘warming room’ with a cauldron and trough and some spooky dark rooms off that.
If you look carefully in the cloisters and in the Sacristy some paintings can still be seen from the medieval period, though it’s not especially amazing. The rooms are all pretty much empty shells, but they have a wonderful atmosphere, have great place for a selfie or some pictures, and there are some interesting notices around. You can learn about the woman who founded the Abbey ,and also the children that were evacuated there during the war, and more.
Entry is available as part of a package with the Fox Talbot Museum and also the Abbey Grounds (and the Abbey rooms if you have the extra time and money). I got round it all in an hour. 40 minutes or so was probably about enough to see the Cloisters, but I could have done with more time for the gorgeous grounds and of course the museum.
Though the Cloisters are advertised as usable to wheelchairs, I did think the floors were pretty uneven at times and some rooms could only be entered via steps. They might pose a problem for some wheel chair users, and a trip hazard for those who aren’t very steady on their feet.