Journey through the beautifully preserved Tudor towns of Kersey, Lavenham, Cavendish, Clare, Sudbury and Long Melford in lovely medieval Suffolk.
By the time medieval England was entering the Early Modern Period (around 1485), wool was the veritable engine of the economy, thanks largely to the huge demand that existed for it from the fashionable cloth-making regions of Belgium, France and Italy. And nowhere benefitted more from this trade than Suffolk, where the confluence of an abundance of sheep and wool merchants made a noticeable impact on the towns and villages where the wool was produced.
Arguably the centrepiece of the trade was Lavenham where a plethora of well preserved timber-framed buildings line the streets, in a place that is thought to possess some of the finest examples of medieval architecture in Britain today. The intricate buildings constructed out of great British oaks were limewashed in different hues to produce the vibrant and enchanting scenes that have welcomed travellers for centuries.
Here is a snapshot of the area, including lovely Lavenham, the nearby village of Long Melford, which has a commanding church to the north of the village on its beautiful green, Clare with its many antiques stores, the sweet village of Cavendish that has three cosy pubs and a high street adorned with thatched buildings, Sudbury, the hometown of painter Thomas Gainsborough, and the supremely attractive and tiny parish of Kersey.