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Coddenham, Wickham Market

This opportunity to develop the wool industry in East Anglia was quickly seized by Flemish weavers. They had traditionally traded with ports like Ipswich and Colchester, and moving to England meant they could cut out the shipping costs. They settled mainly in the Stour area west of Ipswich and Colchester, an area with an established industry of coarse cloth. Thus the traditonal centres such as Bury, Ipswich, Sudbury en Stowmarket were now expanded with East Bergholt, Hadleigh, Kersey, Lavenham, Lindsey, Long Melford and the Waldringfields, now producing the heavy and fine broadcloth. This period represents south Suffolk's peak period of the production of broadcloth.

The Black Plague, an outbreak of the plague that reached England from the continent in 1348, meant a significant backset due to the vast numbers of people that perished, the disease killing off over fifty per cent of the population. This gave rise to a great shortage of labourers, and in turn to an influx of families that moved in from the Highlands and western islands to make up for the shortage of weavers. The shortage of stonemasons can still be seen from the towers of churches, being finished in brick rather than in stone.

The most important broadcloth centres of the time were Hadleigh and Lavenham. The industry brought so much prosperity to the region that Lavenham, which ranked as the 52nd richest city in England, ranked 14th by 1524.

Coddenham Post Office, Suffolk

Post office at Coddenham, Suffolk.
Elaborately pargeted house, Wickham Market, Suffolk

Pargeted house, Wickham Market, Suffolk

External link
More about the history: Wool Towns of East Anglia

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