Articles tagged with: Lacock Abbey

Ela, Countess of Salisbury

on Tuesday, 24 March 2015. Posted in Other

Lacock Abbey was founded in 1232 by Ela, Countess of Salisbury. She had inherited the land following the death of her father the Earl of Salisbury who died when she was a minor. The village of Lacock already existed in some form, as it appears in the Domesday survey of 1086 where it is assigned to Edward of Salisbury. When eventually it passed to Ela and her husband, William Longspee, she decided to build a nunnery there.

Lacock Abbey

William Henry Fox Talbot

on Tuesday, 24 March 2015. Posted in William Henry Fox Talbot

William was born at Melbury House in Dorchester at his mother’s childhood home, the home of his grandfather the 2nd Earl of Ilchester. Although his father William Davenport Talbot owned Lacock Abbey, the family did not live there and it was leased to the Countess of Shrewsbury.

William Henry Fox Talbot

William’s father died only six months after his only son and heir to the estate was born, and left his mother with debts. He spent much of his childhood at the home of his aunt and uncle, Thomas Mansel Talbot and his mother’s sister Mary Lucy (nee Fox-Strangways), at Penrice. He attended Harrow School and studied at Trinity College Cambridge.

‘To sing, to dance and to cook in all languages’ (1) : Matilda Talbot's passion for languages.

on Tuesday, 05 April 2016. Posted in Matilda Talbot


Matilda in Vezelay with on terrace

Matilda Talbot (B. Jul. 15, 1871. D. Mar. 25, 1958) (2) seated on the terrace of the Cheval Blanc, Vezelay, May 1957. Photograph taken by Mr Sam Walker (3).

"My own life has been rather like a kaleidoscope" (4), writes Matilda Talbot in her autobiography. For somebody who experienced the two world wars at first hand, travelled in three continents, and went on to unexpectedly inherit Lacock Abbey, her life was truly kaleidoscopic; a constantly changing sequence of patterns punctuated by bursts of colour.

It was perhaps due to her natural flair for languages, combined with her kind and down-to-earth manner, that many of these colourful experiences came about. She readily accepted invitations to visit old friends and new acquaintances in far-off places, sometimes travelling with her family, but never fearful of travelling independently. When she did travel on her own, she was never alone, striking up friendships with passengers and crew, on-board boats as she tried out her language skills.