Visit Lavenham and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Lavenham, Suffolk. This beautiful small town developed through the rise of the cloth trade before and after the 15th century.
The Church of SS. Peter and Paul is, if not quite as remarkable as that of Long Melford a splendid building. The great square-buttressed tower of flint, 141 ft high, tends to dwarf the main body of the church, but details compensate for any lack of proportion, for example, the superb porch, with its carvings and fan vaulting, the gift of John de Vere, 13th Earl of Oxford.
On entering the church the visitor is impressed by the air of spaciousness. Note the parclose screen round the tomb of Thomas Spring, a wealthy Lavenham clothier who endowed the steeple, and his wife, Alice. This is a fine piece of carving, possibly by Flemish craftsmen early in the 16th century. More good woodwork may be studied in the chancel, which has misericords decorated with fantastic medieval imagery. The Spring and Branch Chapels are surrounded by beautiful screenwork.
The bells of Lavenham are so famous that they were broadcast on the death of H.M. Queen Mary and each year on 21 June a special peal is rung to celebrate the “birthday” of the tenor bell, made in 1625 by Miles Graye of Colchester, reputed to be the finest toned bell in England, if not the world.
The domestic architecture of Lavenham includes a Guildhall, erected shortly after the founding of the Guild of Corpus Christi in 1529. A superb timber-framed building, one of its corner posts carries a full-length figure of the founder of the Guild, the 15th Lord de Vere. The Old Wool Hall, Tudor Shops, the de Vere House and several of the houses in Church Street, in particular Nos. 11, 12, 13 and 15 are all worthy of note. The pargeting on the façades, the timbering, the whole atmosphere of Lavenham is unique.
Nearby towns: Bury St Edmunds, Ipswich, Sudbury, Stowmarket
Nearby villages: Alpheton, Assington, Belchamp Otten, Bildeston, Borley, Boxted, Bradfield St George, Brent Eleigh, Brettenham, Brockley, Brockley Green, Bulmer, Buxhall, Cavendish, Chelsworth, Cockfield, Edwardstone, Felsham, Gestingthorpe, Glemsford, Great Cornard, Great Finborough, Great Waldingfield, Great Welnetham, Hadleigh, Hartest, Hawkedon, Hitcham, Kersey, Lawshall, Layham, Liston, Little Welnetham, Long Melford, Middleton, Monks Eleigh, Polstead, Preston St Mary, Rattlesden, Rede, Semer, Shimpling, Stanningfield, Stanstead, Wattisham, Whatfield, Whepstead
Have you decided to visit Lavenham or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Lavenham bed and breakfast (a Lavenham B&B or Lavenham b and b)
- a Lavenham guesthouse
- a Lavenham hotel (or motel)
- a Lavenham self-catering establishment, or
- other Lavenham accommodation