Lavenham Church, Suffolk

The magnificent Church of St. Peter and St. Paul dominates the picture postcard town of Lavenham, one of England's hidden gems.

Lavenham Church is typical of what are called the "wool churches" of Suffolk. Churches that seem far too grand and large for their settings. This is because in late medieval times Suffolk was one of the richest places in England due to its position at the very heart of the wool trade.

The church is one of the last of the great Suffolk churches, being completed around 1530, just in time for the Reformation to hit England. The architect may have been John Wastell, responsible for many other outstanding Anglian churches, including the Church of St. James in Bury St. Edmunds which became St. Edmundsbury Cathedral in 1913..

St. Peter and St. Paul was also one of the very last perpendicular churches built and is in many ways a pinnacle of that style. As it stands across the road from main car park it should be visited before wandering down the hill to enjoy the unprecedented mass of half-timbered medieval buildings that make up the rest of Lavenham.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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and Shaun Runham
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