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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Power of Wool

In the 15th/16th century East Anglia was rich. The money came from Wool. Within five miles of each other are two towns that show just how much money was made and how they spent it.

Lavenham is THE Suffolk picture postcard town. It contains a number of fine old buildings and one of the finest churches in Suffolk built from the money generated by wool. What you see today is heavily Victorianised.

The village/town? has many fine old buildings.

The finest are the Guildhall and the Little Hall both open to the public and worth a visit.

As fine as St Peter's and St Paul is just five miles down the road is possibly the finest parish churches in East Anglia and one of the finest in the country Holy Trinity, Long Melford. Melford was blessed with three wool tycoons. The Cloptons of Kentwell, The Cordells of Melford Hall and the Martyns of Melford Place.

Medieval donor's glass.

Victorian Glass.

Cordell Tomb.

Clopton Tomb and brass (there are a few of these)

The Clopton Chantry chapel.

Martyn's Brass.

The sharp eyed amongst you will have noticed that the church has a large roofed building attached. This is a lady chapel, over the years it has been used as many things including a school. No parish church in England has a Lady Chapel of such ambition.

Next to the church is....

Melford to has some fine buildings.

I mentioned the great wool merchants. Melford Place has gone but Kentwell Hall still survives and is home to recreations from times to past. Melford Hall is also still standing.


oldcrow61 said...

Really enjoying the pictures Pete.

Kate said...

Coincidently, the area of Stratford I spent most of my childhood in is called Clopton after the same Clopton family. They had a huge house there, which was linked to the Gunpowder Plot in some way - can't remember how .

Anonymous said...

The history was as fascinating as the pictures were beautiful.