Lavenham: Olde England

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I have done several posts on period villages and towns (Kersey, Stratford, Castle Comb) and many have wonderful timber frame buildings which give a sense of the nation’s past. Constable Country (Suffolk, and Essex border area) have a large number of these settlements, but one of the best preserved is Lavenham.

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The Guildhall at the centre of the town is a national Trust property.  It is large for the type of building and is really impressive as it commands the market square.  The Guildhall is well worth seeing, and like most National Trust houses has a nice tea room and is great to just chill and take in the history.

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Tea Room


The market is (apart from the paved road and auto traffic) really easy to picture the past at. There are several buildings which cry out character, and the owners so a superb job in their upkeep and presentation.

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House on Market Square

The town (unlike many of its type) is not limited to just the central preservation area. The Swan Hotel is an excellent example of a late Medieval inn and well worth exploring in its own right.

Swan - Lavenham (15th Century)

The Swan

It is easy to imagine the Mother Goose rhyme, “There was a crooked man, and he walked a crooked mile, He found a crooked sixpence against a crooked stile; He bought a crooked cat which caught a crooked mouse, And they all lived together in a little crooked house,” as you explore the streets and lanes of Lavenham as well.

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Crooked House

Such fabulous architecture has not been overlooked by popular culture.  The Godrick’s Hollow of the Harry Potter films found some of its location shots in Lavenham.  In fact Harry’s home in infancy was filmed using the town’s de Vere House.

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“The Hallow”

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de Vere House

There is much to take-in in this picturesque town. There are tea rooms, cafes, and at least two large period inns. The parish church is also well in keeping with this time capsule of England’s past.

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The Little Hall


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