The National Trust’s Lacock Abbey has been home to nuns, a Tudor crook and, in the 1800s, photographic pioneer William Henry Fox Talbot.

This May half-term, families can discover more about Fox Talbot’s botanical interests and discoveries on an interactive self-led trail called ‘The pencil of nature’.

From Saturday to Monday, June 1, families are invited to experience the trail that will take them on an adventure through Lacock Abbey’s woodlands.

Children will be able to learn about Fox Talbot’s love of nature and discover how photographs were made before digital cameras.

The installations have been designed by Wiltshire based artist duo Mother Courage, a visual arts company, created by Dan Smith and Magdalena Francke.

They focus on creating interactive, educational and fun initiatives that celebrate community and our connection with the natural world.

“Lacock is a wonderful location for our work” said Magdalena Francke from Mother Courage.

“We’ve really enjoyed exploring the Fox Talbot story and creating installations that celebrate his photographic achievements in connection with an inspiring fascination with botany.”

“We think the installations will be quite a spectacle”, said Claire Selman, Visitor Experience Assistant at Lacock Abbey.

“We’re really pleased with Mother Courage’s artistic response to the abbey’s photographic past and believe they will be a fantastic way for children to learn about photography, as well as being a photo opportunity in itself.”

This is a special year for Lacock Abbey as it marks 175 years since the announcement of the world’s first photographic negative, which was produced by William Henry Fox Talbot from a window in the abbey.

The trail is just one element of the celebration, with the opening of brand-new introduction displays in the Fox Talbot Museum in April and the opening of exciting new interpretation in the abbey, which will bring to life Talbot’s time there, this summer.

Normal National Trust admission charges apply to experience ‘The pencil of nature’ interactive trail. NT members and under five admitted free.

Visit for more information, opening times and admission prices.