Rare 15th Century attractions on show

TWO 15th Century embroideries which have not been seen by the public for more than three decades will be the main attractions at a town's history exhibition.

TWO 15th Century embroideries which have not been seen by the public for more than three decades will be the main attractions at a town's history exhibition.

When Sudbury's biannual history exhibition opens on Bank Holiday Monday people will get their first glimpse of the long lost treasures, which shed new light on the town's fascinating past.

Perhaps the most interesting item to go on display is the Sudbury Pall, a ceremonial cloth of embroidered velvet, which was placed over a coffin during the burial service of important local school masters.

Its origins date back to the 1400s just after Simon of Sudbury's reign as Archbishop of Cantebury. Simon was executed at Tower Hill during the Peasant's Revolt, but just before his death he founded Simon's College, next to St Gregory's Church. The cloth was used in the burial service every time a college master died. The pall is a splendid example of English style embroidery, which is known throughout the world as Opus Anglecanum.


You may also want to watch:


The second item is a large embroidered Royal Arms of James, with a smaller version of the Borough Arms beneath it. Although it dates back to the 15th Century, church authorities mounted it on a panel of embroided silk from a medieval cop in the 17th Century. This combination of 15th and 17th century textiles on one piece is extremely rare.

The two treasures are owned by St Gregory's Church in Sudbury, but have been stored at Ipswich Museum for years.

Most Read

The pall will be shown in a specially designed display case so it can be seen as it would have been used in the 15th Century.

Other highlights of the exhibition include a special tribute to Adrian Bell who wrote Corduroy, the first of his famous trilogy on farming life in Suffolk during the 1920s and 30s.

There will also be a tribute to William Wood, Master of Sudbury College and founder of the Grammar School in 1491, which links him with the rebuilding of the chancel of St Gregory's Church. A photographic appreciation of Sudbury's historic core will also be on display.

The exhibition, organised by the Sudbury History Society, will open free of charge to the public at St Peter's Church, from noon to 7.30pm on Monday, May 26th and will run until 5pm on Saturday, May 28.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter