Monday, 25 October 2010

An autumn visit

Our daughter lives in Colchester, Essex and her boyfriend is away at sea until Christmas. She is a very busy junior doctor and we enjoy any time we get to spend with her. She has lots of friends she sees and we make sure when she is not working a weekend that does not miss Tom too much! Last weekend she was not working and home alone so we arranged for my husband and I to travel down.

Whenever we visit we try to explore the nearby area and for this weekend we chose to visit Colchester Zoo, Lavenham and Long Melford. We had such an interesting time at all 3 places that I will actually split this blog into more than posting. I will post other parts of it over the next month or so amongst my gardening and jewellery posts.

I also have some lovely photos to share so it seems a pity to use them all up in one in one, too long to enjoy, post. I  love history and would really like to share some of our English culture with readers of my blog , some who live far away from me.

You can click on any of the photos to enlarge them for a clearer view.


Although Colchester is in the county of Essex, our daughter lives right on the borders of Suffolk.
Lavenham is in Suffolk, about a 20 minute drive  from her. It  is a very unique medieval village with no less than 300 listed buildings! I think it is the largest surviving medieval village in England. We were so lucky to have a sunny if chilly day to visit and we parked at the end of the village near the imposing Church of St. Peter and St. Paul

This stunning church was completed in 1530 and the money used to finance its building came from the rich wool merchants who lived in Lavenham at that time.






It had been the Harvest Festival service the Sunday before and we were delighted to see that they still have a Harvest loaf baked each year. This is very much a dying tradition partly because so few traditional baker's exist and have the knowledge to create these baked works of art.










The interior of the church looked so beautiful and the sunlight streaming in through the stained glass windows gave a glorious glow.






After visiting the church we returned to the High Street and made our way up looking for somewhere to have lunch.










As we walked up the High Street we looked at some of the medieval houses which still stand. Obviously over the centuries they have moved and leaned a little but they still remain in the most fabulous condition considering most are over 500 years old.







We chose a tea house called "Tickled Pink" and had a delicious lunch of toasted sandwiches with tea and a huge slice each of homemade cake.

We enjoyed looking out across the road of this fascinating village whilst eating our delicious lunch.

After lunch we walked up to the Guildhall which is another landmark of Lavenham. This unique Tudor timber panelled building was built about 1530 and stands in the market  square. It was built to regulate the successful wool trade and also to celebrate some of the festivals of the church.
Also in the market square is the lovely "Little Hall". This is now a museum which was unfortunately shut that day but it stood out with its wonderful yellow paintwork and leaded lights windows.
Even the Estate Agents was in a listed medieval building as well as the Baker's and general shops.



Before we left Lavenham I spotted one last building with a rather apt name....

Yes , the Crooked House and it really is very crooked!

We then drove on to Long Melford which was very nearby......but I will share that with you in another post.
Bye for now,
Jane x

6 comments:

Mia said...

What a lovely day you had, Jane! The weather seems beautiful too, just perfect for exploring the city. I love old buildings so thank you so much for sharing!

Have a happiest week and a kiss to B!

Yours,
Mia

Jane said...

It was a really lovely day Mia and so good to spend the weekend with our daughter, our time together is precious.

Sending you some of this lovely sunshine we are having here but brrrrr it's very chilly.
Billy is spending much more time indoors, sensible cat.
He sends you a kiss, have a good week.

Love Jane x

greenrabbitdesigns said...

What a gorgeous little town, I just love a bit of history. I adore old churches too! The sky is beautiful in your photos, great to be able to get and about at this time of year. I am sure your daughter was very grateful for your company, it's nice to know that they still need you!
Thanks for your lovely comment on my bag, it's found a new home already, which is nice!
Have a lovely week Jane!
Vivienne x

Jane said...

A weekend (or even a day)away always recharges the batteries doesn't it Vivienne. It forces us to just relax and have time away from work etc etc. We really enjoyed it.
I'm not surprised your bag found a new home so quickly, I was very sorely tempted myself..just a thought how about a strawberry one next summer??
Have a sunny week,
Jane x

michele said...

Jane, I was away from the blog earlier week and almost missed this post! It's truly remarkable that these architectural beauties still survive to be enjoyed by those who arrived so many years later! Seeing them just fuels my imagination. It's like walking through a fairy tale. And you just have to love the stained glass...Gorgeous!

Jane said...

Lavenham is like stepping back over 500 years Michele,it really is quite stunning. What we also enjoyed is that it is still lived in..not a museum piece but a thriving community. And yes, as for the stained glass.....!
Jane x