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England’s Wool Town

By Linda Tancs

Located in the heart of Suffolk, Lavenham is widely recognized as one of England’s prettiest medieval villages. Known in particular as a wool town, it was granted its market charter in 1257 and started exporting its famous blue broadcloth across the globe. Although its woolen trade fell to market forces in the 16th century, the village’s half-timbered medieval cottages remain the same today as they would have looked in those halcyon days. The Guild Hall, in particular, dominates the town and offers exhibitions on local history, farming and industry, as well as the story of the medieval woolen trade.

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