LACOCK, WILTSHIRE

Page 1: Lacock Village and Church
Page 2: Lacock Abbey

Grid Ref: ST 917 686
9 June 2005

 

High Street spacer Church Street
Corner of High Street & East Street      Church Street
East Street   War Memorial
East Street   War Memorial in West Street
HIgh Street   St. Cyriac's, Sharrington
High Street   St. Cyriac's
Lady Chapel   Priest's House
Ceiling of the Lady Chapel   The Priests' house
Sharrington Tomb   North Aisle
The Sharrington Tomb   View from North Aisle across the Nave
Lacock Village and the church of St. Cyriac

Lacock is a very picturesque village laid out in square with High Street on the south, East Street, Church Street and West Street. The historic buildings in the village have made it popular with film makers and it has featured in productions of Pride and Prejudice, Moll Flanders, Emma and The Mayor of Casterbridge. Among the features of the village are a large tithe barn, a lock-up, the village hall, small shops, a post office, pubs, restuarants and tea rooms.

The parish church is St. Cyriac's, an unusual dedication in England but found in Normandy. The first church in Lacock may have been in the Saxon period but a Norman church was built by Edward of Salisbury and William de Ow. Only a few fragments of this church survive; the were found during 19th century restoration work. By the 15th century the West Country was a wealthy area from its wool trade and the church was largely rebuilt about 1450. The ornate Lady Chapel, dating from 1420-30 was retained as part of the new structure. The spire dates from the 16th century. The former box pews were removed in the restoration of 1861 and the transepts were raised. The chancel was rebuilt in 1903 as a memorial to William Henry Fox Talbot of Lacock Abbey; Sir Harold Brakespear was the architect. The south transept, also known as the Lackham aisle was rebuilt by Mr. Caldwell of Lackam in 1860. It contains memorials to the Baynard family who were Lords of the Manor of Lackham and other families who lived there.

The church has many noteworthy features including the cottage for ministers, added in the north east corner in the 16th century. The carvings in the lady chapel still retain some of the original colouring and some of the figures on the roof bosses are very fine. Other notable features include the window above the chancel arch which catches the eye immediately on entry and a double squint in a pillar giving a view of the Lady Chapel and main altar. There are a number of interesting monuments in the church including the Baynard Brass of 1501. The ministers of the church are known from 1318.

The Advowson of St. Cyriac's was jointly owned by the Salisbury (and later Longspee) families of Lacock and the Bluet family of Lackham. Ela Longspee, Countess of Salisbury gave the manor of Lacock and her half of the advowson to Lacock Abbey, which she founded in 1232. In 1316, the abbey obtained the other half of the advowson. The Abbess and Chapter became the rectors and appointed vicars to run the church. The first of these was Nicholas Skarpenham in 1318.

Sources:

National Trust information boards at the abbey.
St. Cyriac's Church, Lacock, Wiltshire, a booklet available in the church prepared by the Friends of Lacock with photographs by Sue Ferris, Paul Freeland, Roger Robilliard and Oliver Menhinick, published in 2003, ISBN 1 903025 14 1
Late Mediaeval England, a course of six weekends at Wedgwood Memorial College, Winter 2004/5, by James Bond and Mike Higginbottom.

Proceed to Lacock Page 2.


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