Take a step back in time as you explore beautiful Lavenham. Nestled in the heart of the Suffolk countryside and surrounded by ancient woodlands and rolling countryside, Lavenham is one of the most important and best-preserved Medieval villages in England.
Picture tiny streets lined with timber-framed buildings, an expansive market square surrounded by iconic Medieval and Tudor halls and a thriving community with independent shops, cafés and restaurants with plenty to see and do.
Once the 14th wealthiest town in Tudor England, Lavenham was built on prosperity and power. Using a dye from the woad plant, Lavenham wool manufacturers became famous for their striking blue cloth. Local merchants traded this beautiful, heavyweight fabric and built impressive timber-framed homes with their newfound wealth.
But Lavenham’s prosperity didn’t last for long; cheaper exports, changing fashions and trade route disruptions (thanks to Henry VIII’s disputes with France) led the wool industry to decline. The lack of money meant that villagers couldn’t afford to rebuild their houses. This means that the original timber-framed buildings were left unchanged; over 300 of these precious listed buildings are protected and cared for in Lavenham today.
Discover more about the history and the many medieval buildings that you can visit and explore.
Modern Day Lavenham
Today, Lavenham is a bustling blend of history and community, with villagers welcoming visitors to share in their love of this special place. Most shops, cafés and hotels are dog friendly, so feel free to bring your canine friends too!
You’ll find all sorts of treats for your home, wardrobe and tastebuds in the beautiful shops , cafés and restaurants , all housed in listed buildings. There are plenty of unique places to stay too, from boutique hotels and manor house getaways to B&Bs, cottages and even sustainable glamping pods.
When you’ve seen all that the village has to offer, there are so many new adventures waiting right on your doorstep. Take a leisurely stroll along the woodland and railway walks, take a tour of other local wool towns or venture onto the bigger towns of Sudbury or Bury St Edmunds for more history and culture.
If you’re an art lover, then you’re in for a treat. Be sure to visit the beautiful galleries in Lavenham and then venture out to visit Gainsborough’s House in Sudbury. Experience the beauty of Constable Country for yourself too in this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) just a few miles away.