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Lavenham, Suffolk

If you wish to make an excursion to the middle ages, then by all means do not miss Lavenham. It is the best preserved middle-age town in the United Kingdom and is on a par with Delft, Bruges, Toledo, Venice and Hamelen with regard to its history, charm and its urban character.

Below: the High Street in Lavenham; in the distance, at the corner of Water Street, the signboard
of the Swan Hotel.

The High Street in Lavenham, Suffolk

But let us not digress from our subject and start with Lavenham's history, otherwise it is difficult to imagine how the images that you will see relate to the life and work of previous generations.

In Saxon times Lavenham formed part of the Babergh Hundred, an area that belonged to 100 freemen. At the centre of this area were the houses Overhall and Netherhall, which both belonged to Alberic de Vere, the brother-in-law of William the Conqueror and grandson of Aubrey de Vere, who in 1103 became the first earl of Oxford; he built Castle Hedingham, a Norman keep still owned by one of his descendants. Of these original houses, Babergh Hall and Nether Hall have been preserved in the neighbourhood of Waldringfield, slightly east of Ipswich and above Felixstowe.

External links
St Peter and St Paul

Castle Hedingham
St Peter and St Paul

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