Oh my days! March has been crazy busy. I have learnt my lesson about socialising. There is such a thing as too much socialising it turns out, and every single weekend might be that limit for me. But enough about my complaining that I have too many people to see- how I wish my introverted teenage self could read that sentence- and back on to the post. Right back at the beginning, the first weekend of March saw me and Annabel bundling into her car for a day out at Lacock Abbey. You might have seen me inundating my Instagram and Twitter feeds with #RuralGirlsDiary out of pure joy.
Annabel and I were raised on a diet of heritage days out, which in England naturally includes a plentiful supply of National Trust properties. Consequently we have both invested in NT memberships and are making our way around the local properties, joined by Catherine when she’s not studying in Bristol. Lacock Abbey was on Annabel’s list of properties she has never been to, though I had already visited/fallen in love with it, so off we went in her little car for the day.
The Abbey was founded by Ela, Countess of Salisbury, making it the legacy of a local lass. To make her even more amazing, she was a countess in her own right instead of by marriage. Not only incredible but also relatively rare for women during the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries. We had a fantastic time exploring the remains of the Abbey that Ela had helped to create and preside over after being widowed. The mural of St Andrew (above) that still exists is beautiful, both in the skill used to create it and because it has lasted over 500 years despite the Reformation. For those of you who aren’t history buffs, the Abbey has also been used as a location for cinematic greats such as the first two Harry Potter films. The cauldron in the warming room – yes, only one room had a fire- looks like it belongs in Professor Snape’s Potions class but is actually from the 1500s.
The rest of the Abbey is basically a stately home. My favourite bit was the kitchen, including the cutest shopping list indicator, but because I was so busy admiring everything I forgot to take photos. The table is just what you want in a kitchen, long and wooden, with recipes from various decades and meals to inspire every foodie. Annabel was awed by the number of books and dived at the chance of a little fancy dress in the form of a bonnet (above). However, we both admit that the Great Hall was the best room. The statues and carvings are incredible and some of them are hillarious, particularly the goat with the sugar cube. FACT: it’s a real sugar cube! The National Trust replace it whenever the previous one dissolves. Apparently it was a practical joke that has become tradition.
After exploring the Abbey, we discovered the greenhouses in the gardens. Not only did this give us a much needed chance to warm up but also a chance to feel all spring-like as we ‘oooh’ and ‘aaaah’ed at all the colours.
Finally we decided it was time for a cup of tea and to explore the village. The village has been kept immaculate since the start of the Twentieth Century, which has resulted in it being used for Cranford, Downton Abbey and various other period dramas. We even found time to try out one of the tea rooms. Believe it or not, rosehip tea is delicious if a little bit sweet.
Have you visited any National Trust properties recently? Do you prefer to go rural or urban? Let me know in the comments below or use the hashtag #RuralGirlsDiary or #UrbanGirlsDiary. Lets start to enjoy life, one day at a time.
The post #RuralGirlsDiary || Lacock Abbey with Annabel first appeared on CounterCultural. CounterCouture.