Pictures of Lavenham
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Wonderful clusters of fine Tudor houses, all gracious in age, offer the visitor a glimpse of just how a prosperous wool town must have looked during its' hey-day in the middle ages. The wealthy merchants of Lavenham and the wool trade have long since gone but still exists these grand old houses, churches and other beautiful buildings that have stood the test of time and bear witness to the towns enduring prosperity.
Justly proud of thier heritage are the local residents that Lavenham's telegraph poles were removed from view in 1967 and the lines hidden underground. Thus, the Market Place which dates back to the 13th century, looks today, very much as it did in medieval times.
The Guildhall which is known for being one of the finest Tudor half-timbered buildings in the country, is now a museum displaying objects of local historic interest.
To this day several old streets exist and still bear thier original names. Water Street, so named because a river ran alongside it. Shilling Street has nothing to do with money but derives from Schyling, who was a Flemish weaver who came here to teach his english counterparts how to best make cloth. It is known that this street was lived in by Isaac Taylor, engraver and author whose daughter penned the rhyme Twinkle, Twinkle, little star.
There are many old well preserved weavers cottages to be seen and some still have the original craft symbols in their plasterwork, including one to the patron saint of cloth workers, Saint Blaise.
In the old part of the Swan Hotel a preserved section of the old bar wall is covered with the signatures of American Airmen of the 487th Bomb Group. These men were based locally during the second world war.
The church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul is reputed to be the greatest of all the "Wood Churches" in East Anglia and owes it's magnificence mostly to the 13th Earl of Oxford and the family of the rich clothier Thomas Sprying who, together with other wealthy folk gave generously to the church in thanksgiving for the end of the Wars of the Roses in 1485.
As one would expect from a prosperous and enterprising village, the visitor will find a wealth of historic inns, beguiling gift shops, art and antique shops, all of which are too tempting to resist.
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