Lavenham Guildhall

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Lavenham Guildhall
Lavenham Guildhall - - 67529.jpg
Lavenham Guildhall is located in Suffolk
Lavenham Guildhall
Former namesThe Hall of the Guild of Corpus Christi
General information
Town or cityLavenham
Coordinates52°06′38″N 0°47′42″E / 52.1106°N 0.7951°E / 52.1106; 0.7951Coordinates: 52°06′38″N 0°47′42″E / 52.1106°N 0.7951°E / 52.1106; 0.7951
Construction started1529
ClientThe Guild of Corpus Christi
OwnerNational Trust for England
Technical details
Structural systemJettied timber framing

Lavenham Guildhall is a Grade I listed[1] 16th-century timber-framed building in Lavenham, Suffolk, England.


By the late 15th century, Lavenham was at the centre of the East Anglian wool trade and had become one of the richest towns in England. To reflect this prosperity, four guilds were established in the town by the local merchant families. The most important of these was the wool guild, which founded the Guildhall of Corpus Christi in 1529.[2] Given the dominance of the cloth and wool trade, the guildhall soon came to function as Lavenham's principal meeting place and centre of business, situated on the town's thriving market place.

With the decline of the wool trade and Lavenham's prosperity, the guildhall's role changed. By 1689, and until 1787, the guildhall was in use as the Bridewell, and was then used as the workhouse.

It was restored by Sir William Quilter around 1911 and in 1946 given to the people of Lavenham. In 1951 it became the property of the National Trust for England and is today open to the public.[3]


  1. ^ Historic England. "The Guildhall  (Grade I) (1037186)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  2. ^ Pevsner, Nikolaus. The Buildings of England: Suffolk. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0300096484.
  3. ^ "Lavenham Guildhall". The National Trust. Retrieved 12 July 2014.

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