Stunning photos of medieval Suffolk

Little Hall at Lavenham, Suffolk. Credit: Travel Pictures Ltd
One of the oldest timber-framed buildings in Lavenham, the medieval Little Hall. Credit: Travel Pictures Ltd

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.

Getting there: Suffolk’s wool towns are roughly 80 miles north east of London, between Cambridgeshire and Norfolk, and take 1 hour and 15 mins to reach by train. Trains depart from London Liverpool Street 24 times a day.

For the full feature and to read more fantastic stories on Britain, see the July/August 2017 (September 2017 in the US and Canada) issue of BRITAIN out now