Sunday, 12 August 2018
A week or so ago I published pictures of the Lavenham Guildhall, which was built around the year 1520, and said that our guildhall here in Highdale was a couple of centuries earlier, or thereabouts, but not so well known as the Laveham one. Took the above and below photoes of it yesterday morning. It is double jettied as you can see, and I asked one of our local 'experts' about it a few years ago, and got the answer that we don't really know when it was built, but that most of it was standing on the same spot around the year 1370! It is still used as local government offices. In fact a great many Suffolk villages still have large old buildings known as 'the Guildhall' at the centre of the village. Mostly they are old 'wool towns'. They prospered until the mid 1300s. We had (in 1349 and 1350) two very bad years for the Black Death, after which the sheep were moved across to the Midlands, and our Suffolk villages went into decline. This 'potted history ' is a little over simplified, but is basicallly what happened here. It has left us with some lovely old half timbered buildings in the middle of gloriously picturesque villages. I'm a Norfolk man by birth, but I've been exploring Suffolk all my adult life, and it's never ceased to surprise and delight me.