Lavenham is “Extra”

There is a saying in French when something is high above everything else…they say “extra!” That’s Lavenham, England.  I have a cup in our cupboard with a photo of the renown church called St. Peter and St. Paul that daily takes me back to Lavenham.  I was in England as a tour group leader with a senior program called Scandinavian Seminar.  Our group was enjoying a tour called “France and England: Friends or Foes?” In touring parts of England where great battles took place, we passed through a  marvelous small village called Lavenham.  My senior friends and I were given time just to stroll among its tiny weaving streets and to “absorb the environment.”

The one most memorable part of Lavenham was the huge church in this tiny village. It looked like it didn’t belong there! It was so huge and yet there it was, towering over the village of 1,700 inhabitants. Today Lavenham is most noted for its 15th-century church, half-timbered medieval cottages and circular walk.

Lavenham is ‘England’s finest mediaeval village’ nestled in the heart of the Suffolk countryside. Offering a wealth of historical interest, delightful shops and galleries and a wide choice of places to eat and drink, my group of senior adventurers found it to be a great choice for a relaxing day in the countryside of Suffolk, England. Crammed into Lavenham’s center are over 300 exquisitely preserved buildings.

In the medieval period Lavenham was among the 20 wealthiest settlements in England. I recall as well the timber framed Guildhall overlooking the market square. A beautiful and historic building, it was built around 1529 by the Guild Hall of Corpus Christi, one of three medieval wool guilds in Lavenham. Inside is a small local museum, but in it’s “day” it was really a major site.

Take a Walk With Me, Seniors.

So take a walk with me through this village, called “the most complete medieval town in Britain”, a tribute to its fine collection of medieval and Tudor architecture.

The parish church of St Peter and St Paul is one of the last great Suffolk wool churches to be built before the Reformation. Construction began in 1486 and finished in 1525. Like other great Suffolk churches of the period, the village church was built by local merchants who made their fortunes in the woolen cloth industry. Its construction was funded from the wealth generated by the wool trade in the region and as such, and in common with many other churches in Suffolk, it is referred to as a ‘wool church’.

So when you are in England, senior travelers, cruising around the country, drop by Lavenham out in Suffolk County. Plan on spending an entire day here enjoying the many shops, winding streets and most of all that magnificent ‘wool church.’

Buy a cup with a photo of the church like I did and you will have lasting memories each time you have your morning coffee. jeb


  1. Fabulous review of Lavenham, thank you! It is an unusual village and you’re right that the Church appears disproportionately large. Lavenham is a great place to stroll around and feel as though you were living 500 years ago, so it’s a ‘must see’ destination for anyone visiting the UK. Find more information about Lavenham and the picturesque county of Suffolk, UK, here –

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