Book tells of fascinating history of Sudbury, Long Melford and Lavenham

Bull Hotel, Hall Street, Long Melford c. 1920s.

Bull Hotel, Hall Street, Long Melford c. 1920s. - Credit: Contributed

A new book about Sudbury, Long Melford and Lavenham is bound to throw up gems of historical detail of which readers may not necessarily be aware.

The Swan, High Street, Lavenham. Early 1900s.

The Swan, High Street, Lavenham. Early 1900s. - Credit: Contributed

Kate Cole is the author of Sudbury, Long Melford and Lavenham Through Time, which is now available from Amberley Publishing.

Her research reveals interesting facts about the three places, and photographs show some of the many ways in which they have changed and developed over the last century.

Miss Cole, 51, a mother-of-three from Maldon in Essex, works in technology, but is developing as a historian after studying the subject with the Open University and Cambridge University.

She said: “Each town has its own unique points. For example what fascinated me most about Lavenham was, although it’s obviously a very beautiful medieval village, it came through very loud and clear we nearly lost Lavenham in the 1910s and 1920s.

St Gregory's Church, Sudbury c.1910s.

St Gregory's Church, Sudbury c.1910s. - Credit: Contributed


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“Some of the very famous buildings in Lavenham were beginning to be taken down to be sold off to America.” She added: “There was such a local outcry it stopped, and in the end a lot of private people put money into renovating them.”

In her book she also tells of the riot in Long Melford in the 1880s between villagers there and those from Glemsford. “In the end they sent the troops in from Bury St Edmunds. The troops came in on the train.”

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What particularly stood out for the author about Sudbury was that at one point one side of the bridge in Ballingdon Street belonged to Suffolk while the other belonged to Essex. She added: “When the latest bridge was built Suffolk County Council sent in some archaeologists who went down into the water and looked at the wooden timbers down there and using carbon dating methods they found some dated to the late 1500s.”

Miss Cole, whose son goes to school in the area, said her research had included old newspaper reports and using the record office, as well as oral histories.

Post office, Station Road, Sudbury. Postmarked 1913.

Post office, Station Road, Sudbury. Postmarked 1913. - Credit: Contributed

She said Long Melford Library had been very helpful in providing her with oral histories of men and women who grew up in the village in the 1880s and 1890s. “They were absolutely fascinating to listen to,” she said.

Sudbury, Long Melford and Lavenham Through Time can be purchased directly from Amberley Publishing, as well as Amazon and local bookshops.

St Gregory's from Freeman's Common, Sudbury. 1910s.

St Gregory's from Freeman's Common, Sudbury. 1910s. - Credit: Contributed

St Peter's Church and Town Hall, from the Old Market Place, Sudbury. Postmarked 1913.

St Peter's Church and Town Hall, from the Old Market Place, Sudbury. Postmarked 1913. - Credit: Contributed

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