Ela of Salisbury’s Convent Church at Lacock

At Lacock Abbey the National Trust currently have an installation to mark the site of the 13th century convent church founded by Ela (pronounced eelah) of Salisbury.

The glass panels on the site of Ela’s convent church

Chitterne was part of the large area of southern England inherited by Ela following the death of her father William Longespee in 1226. Soon after this she donated her Chitterne lands and farm to her newly founded abbey at Lacock, and the thousands of sheep kept at Chitterne became the Lacock nuns’ main source of revenue.

The installation consists of three panes of glass depicting a stone arch, scenes of abbey life in medieval times and Ela’s seal. These are positioned on the grass that now covers the convent church site.

The second glass panel depicting scenes of convent life
The last panel with Ela’s personal seal

I was expecting a little more than these when I visited, but all inside the abbey was as usual, there were no new items concerning Ela on display.

Ela of Salisbury’s Convent Church at Lacock

The Earl of Salisbury and Trowbridge Castle


For those who are as passionate about our medieval history as me, I have added a new page on chitterne.com/history about William Longespee, 3rd Earl of Salisbury, husband of Ela, Countess of Salisbury, and lord of Chitterne in the 13th century.

I have been looking into Longespee’s background and discovered that besides being a superlative battle commander under three different kings he was also a bit of a castle collector! But, compared with his famous fighting exploits, his castle adventures turned out to be rather unsuccessful. To read more visit: http://www.chitterne.com/history/longespee.html


The Earl of Salisbury and Trowbridge Castle