Lacock Abbey:The birthplace of modern photography



Facade of Lacock Abbey

This evening, I am reporting on Lacock Abbey in Wiltshire, England the birthplace of the film photography which was widely used until replaced by digital technology.

Lacock Abbey is a mansion owned by Britain's National Trust. The architecture is an unusual blend of medieval and 19th century. In essence, the original 13th century home for Augustinian canonesses was disbanded by King Henry VIII in 1539 and then purchased by Sir William Sharington.John Ivory Talbot inherited the property in 1714 and over the succeeding 58 years remodeled the building and grounds.William Henry Fox Talbot and his family resided at the abbey in the early 1800s.In August 1835 Fox Talbot captured the first photographic negative which proved to be the foundation of modern photography.

 Lacock Abbey in context of surrounding grounds

Spring flowers at Lacock Abbey


Grounds at Lacock Abbey

 Aspect of adjacent village

Fox Talbot was a well educated and highly intelligent person with wide ranging interests.It was his interest in drawing which led to the development of photography.He discovered a process whereby an image could be fixed on paper and reproduced several times.

Fox Talbot's first photograph was taken of the latticed window (below) above the cloister door at Lacock Abbey. 

 Latticed window

The abbey building has been used as a location for multiple filming locations including Harry Potter. Both the abbey building and associated grounds are open to the public as is the Fox Talbot Museum. Close by is Lacock village which features historic architecture.

Cloisters at Lacock Abbey

Lacock is about 111 miles directly west of London.


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