Lavenham is widely regarded as the best example of an intact medieval village.
Penny Cottage and Mint Cottage – Located in the medieval village of Lavenham, Penny and Mint are sister cottages (both built in the 16th Century as Weavers Cottage) who share an adjoining enclosed garden.
The Tryst – This 15th Century, Grade I listed cottage is situated in Lavenham and accommodates up to five guests.
Right on your doorstep you will find various footpaths and woodland walks, all of which easily accessible from the village. Lavenham is a truly historic part of Suffolk and an absolute pleasure to visit. Staying in one of our beautiful holiday cottages in Lavenham will help make your visit to this medieval village that extra bit special.
This important ‘Wool Town’ was once one of the richest in England and is cluttered with many magnificent medieval buildings.
Food & Drink
There is an excellent Butchers at the bottom of the high Street and the marvelous ‘granary pat’ bread that I supply at The Grove Cottages come from the old fashioned bakery Sparling & Frieres. They bake bread as it should be baked in Market Place, which is a stunning village square that transports you straight back to Medieval times. The magnificent Guild Hall now houses a very interesting museum & the marvelous ‘Little Hall’ is another National Trust building and often open.
The very excellent Great House French Restaurant is also in the Market Place and there is a very nice pub called ‘The Angel’, where a thirsty walker can get a drink and a sandwich most of the day. The pub has a fine restaurant which is open every evening with the host playing the piano live on a Friday and Saturday night. The Greyhound gastro pub is another good one, as is the The Great House – a premier French restaurant – and not forgetting the famous and visually stunning inn The Swan Hotel
Arts & Crafts
The Wildlife Gallery: As you walk down the High Street you will find ‘The Wildlife Gallery’ on the left. This has some very interesting exhibitions featuring artists such as Harry Becker a local artist painting Suffolk rural life about 1880’s – 1920’s.
Beckers evocative work is only now being recognized for its importance and the Gallery is heavily featuring this artist in the run up to the launch of it’s ‘definitive book’ on his work.
There are a number of very pleasant walks around Lavenham, the tourist centre there has a guided tour and there are some footpaths which make a fine circular walk around the interesting landscape and back to Lavenham.
It is a short stroll to the edge of the village and there are marked circular walks; one of which will take you down the disused railway line to Long Melford and back.
My ‘walk’, which is marked on the maps I supply at The Grove Cottages, starts in the nearby village of Brent Eleigh and comes into Lavenham at it’s famous and imposing Wool Church. After refreshments at one of the fine pubs and a snoop around Lavenham (not forgetting the old antique book shop), my walk takes you back on the green lane to the very excellent Cock pub in Brent Eleigh for a short respite and stroll back to the car. This walk is about 50 minutes in either direction.
In Charles Dickens’s days, boys living in Scotland and here in East Anglia would be allowed to leave boarding school a day early because it took so long to get back home to those places.
Even though we are just 60 miles from London, this area was always very inaccessible and remained so until very recent times.
Now the local mainline train journey to London is a mere 45 minutes and a car journey takes about an hour and a half.
But still Suffolk has retained an unusually strong independent rural atmosphere and one of the great joys of the area are the beautiful little hamlets that even locals get lost getting to through the meandering ‘spiders web’ of tiny lanes and byroads.
Many of these villages are wonderfully preserved in their medieval origins, our local village of Lavenham being a fantastic example.
The area is very rich in history from the Saxon treasure of Sutton Hoo and the rebel Queen Bodicea who defeated the Romans, right up to the many expeditions of Settlers leaving for America – in fact the First Governor of Massachusetts came from this tiny hamlet of Edwardstone when I am based at The Old Grove Farm.
The landscape and the architectural beauty of the area has long inspired Artists to work and move here. The greatest English landscape painter John Constable painted all his famous masterpieces along the Stour, which is just 5 miles from The Grove Cottages. His work undoubtedly created this landscape as the quintessential English Landscape, which is one reason why visitors to the area feel so at home.
The Great Portrait painter Thomas Gainsborough lived in Sudbury (the closest town to us) and it is a real pleasure to visit his home, which is now a very interesting museum and exciting showplace for local artists and events. It also has a wonderful print making workshop where courses on all kinds of printmaking are constantly held and very much sought after.
The great artist Sir Alfred Munnings, famous for his portraits of rural Suffolk life, lived and had his studio close to the River Stour at Dedham; now an interesting museum devoted to him and his works of art.