Excursion One - Great Chalfield Manor & Lacock Abbey
We start the day with a guided tour of Great Chalfield Manor, a charming moated manor built in the 15th century for Thomas Tropenell, a modest member of the landed gentry who made his fortune as a clothier. For the filming of Wolf Hall, the manor’s interiors stood in for Austin Friars, Thomas Cromwell’s home. Outside, the romantic gardens offer terraces, topiary houses, colourful borders and delightful views.
Lacock Abbey sits at the heart of the picturesque village of Lacock with golden stone cloisters and a Great Hall. Once a medieval nunnery, the abbey was turned into a Tudor family home. The last owner was William Henry Fox Talbot, who invented the first photographic negative. In the TV series, the exteriors of Lacock Abbey represented Wolf Hall, the Seymour family seat.
Excursion Two - Barrington Court & Montacute House
Surrounded by rolling parkland, Barrington Court is a rambling Tudor manor house that was saved from ruin and restored by the Lyle family in the 1920s. Empty of furniture, the house is full of atmospheric echoes of the past. For Wolf Hall, the interiors were dressed as York Place, Whitehall, the home of Cromwell’s mentor and friend Cardinal Wolsey.
Montacute House stands resplendent amidst a sprawling landscape park. This splendid Elizabethan mansion of golden stone boasts oak-panelled rooms, period furniture and the longest gallery in England crammed with treasures including Tudor and Elizabethan portraits on loan from the National Portrait Gallery. In Wolf Hall, Montacute depicted Greenwich Palace, Henry VIII’s primary London seat and the site of Anne Boleyn’s arrest.
Excursion Three - Malmesbury & Berkeley Castle
We spend some free time in Malmesbury, England’s oldest borough, with a history spanning over a thousand years. Encircled by the River Avon, this hilltop town with its charming medieval streets, old courtroom and almshouses is a lovely place to explore. You may choose to visit the historic abbey or the nearby Abbey House Gardens, with their mix of formal landscaping and wild spaces (there is a charge for entrance to the gardens).
Berkeley Castle has remained in the Berkeley family since its construction in the late 12th century. We enjoy a guided tour of this ancient fortress home with its fine medieval rooms and magnificent collections amassed by members of the family throughout the centuries. For Wolf Hall, Berkeley Castle stood in as Esher where Cardinal Wolsey is banished to after falling from the favour of Henry VIII.
Please note: Berkeley Castle has very limited access for wheelchair users.