The Abbey is built upon the foundations of a former nunnery founded in the early 13th century by Ela, Countess of Salisbury.  It was converted into a country house in the 16th century and is now a mix of architectural styles which makes it an interesting photographic subject; Medieval rooms, a cloister court, which is full of light, shade..

It was also the home of William Henry Fox Talbot, famous for his contributions to the invention of photography. The museum celebrates his achievements and also has ongoing photography exhibitions.

It is now owned by the National Trust.