Hello again. The third property we visited on our little National Trust tour was Laycock Abbey. Apologies as for some reason I can’t add links at the moment or would have put one in for the information.
The whole village belongs to the Trust and it was very pretty with lots of little honesty stalls outside all of the houses selling jams etc. The Abbey itself is beautiful, mellow stone which looked so lovely on a summer day.
I love all the details on the stone and spent quite a lot of time taking pictures of things as inspiration for future patterns. The quatrefoil is a design that is common on older buildings and I love the stained glass window above the main stairs that now forms part of Fox Talbot’s Great Hall with its wonderful painted ceiling.
The Abbey has been used as a filming location for lots of things, most famously for the Harry Potter films. We visited the Warner Brothers’ Studio Harry Potter experience a couple of years ago as a Christmas trip and we saw the sets for things like Snape’s potion class which was filmed here in the crypt.
All very exciting and very apt as it was William Henry Fox Talbot, the owner of the house, who took the first ever photograph using a negative in 1835. I think that he would be amazed how much we now document our lives on social media and the way that we use photos, such an essential part of our lives.
That is another reason why I love visiting Trust houses, not only are you sometimes seeing things from great events like the Mary Queen of Scots chemise but also from what must have seemed at the time quite a small thing, a great personal achievement for him but I doubt he realised the significance to the world.
He was also friends with other inventors and there was another great piece of textile interpretation in the dining room. This tablecloth showed the dishes from a dinner with the plates representing the guests, amongst whom was Charles Babbage. He was the creator of the Analytical Engine who along with the daughter of Lord Byron, mathematician Ada Lovelace who worked with him on the idea of programming, gave us the beginnings of computing.
I find it absolutely amazing that two men at a dinner table all those years ago set in motion the technology that allows me to sit here in my lounge on my laptop blogging and uploading pictures for you. It just makes you wonder who is sitting somewhere right now with the next idea that will revolutionise things and what it will be.
The cloisters were my favourite part of the place, I love the stonework and the way that the light and shadows contrast. I think they are such wonderful and spiritual places, even with lots of visitors in them you can sense how peaceful they would have been when this was an abbey.
Hope that you all have a good week ahead, I am spending the rest of the weekend working on a very special piece of embroidery that I won’t be able to reveal for a while, Ellie’s best friend from University is getting married soon and I am making a ring pillow for them!
Take care and thanks for visiting.