The Abbey was founded in 1232 and was used as an Augustinian nunnery until 1539 and the Dissolution of the Monasteries by Henry VIII. Parts of the nunnery, including the cloisters, chapter house and sacristy, were preserved when the building was converted into a private residence in 1550.
In 1754 John Ivory Talbot employed the architect Sanderson Miller to make alterations to the house in the Gothic revival style. In 1828 further changes were made to the building. The most famous member of the Talbot family was William Henry Fox Talbot who invented the photographic negative at Lacock Abbey.