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Lack­ham House

A History of Lackham

Set amongst fields and wood­land on its 234-hectare estate, and bound­ed by the Riv­er Avon, Lack­ham is a spec­tac­u­lar set­ting. Lack­ham House is a mag­nif­i­cent exam­ple of Geor­gian archi­tec­ture. The present Lack­ham house was built between 1793 and 1795, on a site where a house had stood since at least 1000AD. East and West Wings were added at lat­er dates, and the House now pro­vides facil­i­ties to suit many pur­pos­es and activities.

The House is fur­nished with a range of rooms, pro­vid­ing inti­mate, wood-pan­elled set­tings and spa­cious suite rooms which open out on to the ter­race and give views of the exten­sive gar­dens and wood­land walks. Lack­ham is very close to the Nation­al Trust vil­lage of Lacock and the Geor­gian city of Bath. With­in easy reach too of Bris­tol, Sal­is­bury and Swin­don, Lack­ham is the ide­al base and safe envi­ron­ment for res­i­den­tial groups.

There has been a manor at Lack­ham since the Sax­on peri­od, when it formed part of the lands of the thegn of Boscombe, Aelf­s­tan who was an advi­sor to Edward the Con­fes­sor. After the Nor­man Con­quest, it was held by William, son of the Count of Eu. The actu­al manor was held by Ralph Bluet, who also held Silch­ester in Hamp­shire amongst oth­er lands.

The Bluet fam­i­ly were major Barons of the area and of the Welsh March­es and were close­ly con­nect­ed with the Earls of Pem­broke, this asso­ci­a­tion win­ning them exten­sive lands and pow­er. They dealt exten­sive­ly with both Lacock and God­stow nun­ner­ies. When the local Bluet line died out in the mid-four­teenth cen­tu­ry the Bay­nard fam­i­ly inher­it­ed and held the land and manor for fur­ther cen­turies. They were influ­en­tial with­in the local area, Robert Bay­nard was vis­it­ed by Hen­ry VIII in 1545 and Robert has a com­mem­o­ra­tive brass in St Cyriac’s church in Lacock.

When their line also end­ed, just before the Civ­il War, the heiress Mary Bay­nard mar­ried James Mon­tagu, the third son of the Earl of Man­ches­ter. The Mon­ta­gus held the Manor until the mid­dle of the nine­teenth cen­tu­ry. Sev­er­al of them, for exam­ple, Admi­ral John Mon­tagu and his broth­er George Mon­tagu the nat­u­ral­ist, were nation­al­ly important.

Lack­ham was nev­er again held for more than one gen­er­a­tion after the Mon­tagu tenure of Lack­ham end­ed in Chancery trustee­ship. After hav­ing just three fam­i­lies in over 850 years the next cen­tu­ry saw 7 dif­fer­ent own­ers, includ­ing the pow­er­ful mill-own­ing and weav­ing fam­i­ly of Palmer from Trow­bridge, the Lord Glane­ly (a ship­ping mag­nate from Cardiff enno­bled for his con­tri­bu­tion to the nation­al effort in WWI) and lat­ter­ly the Wilt­shire agri­cul­tur­al edu­ca­tion school. Wilt­shire Col­lege Lack­ham is the cur­rent embod­i­ment of this organ­i­sa­tion and car­ries for­ward the estate into its sec­ond millennium.

A Further History of Lackham

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