Saturday, 8 October 2016

October 8th 2016: Suffolk: Lavenham

Monty the Motorhome is parked up in the corner of a car park belonging to a small country pub not far from Grafham Water. We are staying the night here with a view to returning to Grafham Water again tomorrow as we really liked it on the outward journey a week ago.

Today started with rain. The first we have had so far on this trip, so can’t grumble. Anyway we took our time packing up and set Sat Nav for the town of Lavenham in East Suffolk. 
This place is supposed to be the best example in England of a medieval town. Certainly on arrival the place seemed doted with half timbered buildings leaning at all sorts of drunken angles. We later found out there are 321 listed buildings in the town from a a very knowledge guide at the Guildhall. This chap also succinctly described why Lavenham has so many such buildings, so I’ll try and do the same. The town made it’s wealth from wool back in the 16th Century, specifically  a blue dyed wool known as Lavenham Blue, which financed the building of many timbered buildings and an immense church. However competition from Flemish sources took away that trade and the townsfolk had nothing to fall back on. Other wool towns also suffered, but they were able to diversify in some way, so retained some wealth, which was put to use as the fashion for building turned from timber to brick. Poor Lavenham could not afford to pull their timber houses down, so they remained, luckily for us.

The Guildhall
We had a good look round the town, visiting ye old tearooms for sandwiches, and also visiting the church which is huge for such a small town.
Not often you see clipped topiary in a churchyard

Detail from the stained glass windows
Then on to our resting place tonight - the St John Arms, just outside the village of Melchbourne.

We had reserved a table, but ended up as the only people in the lounge for most of the meal. The food was delicious, steak for me while Ruth went for pie and veg.

No comments:

Post a Comment