Crooked houses walk, Lavenham, Suffolk
Welcome to Lavenham, a medieval village full of quirky hidden gems for the whole family to explore. A backdrop of Tudor timber-framed buildings sets the scene for mysterious carvings, crooked houses, animals and curious characters. Search for hidden carvings, doorways, fairy-tales and wonky lines to create your own heritage trail on this self-guided, downloadable toddle/mini-amble around Lavenham. Using a compass, spot exciting hidden characters and patterns – designed for explorer families, and young children. Children over six will love to spot the hidden characters and find the patterns on this easy one-mile walk. Look out for the 'wonkiest house'; visit the cross in the market place; Molet House, and of course the sweet shop (if allowed!). Visit our Tea Room when you have finished, please check our opening times.
Find what you need
Download a compass app before heading out for this walk.
Lavenham Guildhall TL916493
Start at the Guildhall front door and walk due North, across the Market Place to the market cross. Can you find out who built it and when?
Turn to your right and walk due East across to the wonky yellow building. What is it called? Find an unusual door knocker. What shape is it?
Continue walking south until you come to a black-and-white timber building on your right, Molet House. Have a close look at the door to see if you can spot a five-pointed star in the doorway. Draw the doorway of this house. What famous nursery rhyme sings about a star? When you visit the Guildhall you can find out why this rhyme is very important to Lavenham.
Further down the hill, still south, is the Old Grammar School on your left. This house has lots of decoration on its woodwork. Can you spot a funny ‘pair’ on the carving by the door? What are they?
At the bottom of Barn Street, turn due West. Stand here for a minute and count how many different coloured houses you can see. Draw your favourite building and choose your favourite colour to paint it in.
Further up the street, on the other side, is a brick and timber building called De Vere House. It has a very unusual doorway, with a tiny door inside a big one. What do you think the job of the two figures is? Draw your favourite figure and tell us what you think he is there for.
Further along on the left there is a really good sweet shop – if you’re lucky you might get to go inside! While you are outside, count how many different building materials you can see in the houses.
As you approach the corner at the end, look up at the shapes in the plasterwork above the street sign. Draw what you can see at the back of these pages. What do you think they are?
At the end of the road go North 20 degrees East. Above a shop window on a building a little way up, across the road is a man – what do you think he’s doing there? As you walk up High Street, look for all the signs that have animals on them – but be careful of the busy road! How many can you spot?
Also in the High Street is one of the wonkiest buildings in Lavenham – what is it called? Can you think of a nursery rhyme that might have been written about this house? Can you spot the ‘Jaws of Hell’ on the wonkiest building in Lavenham?
Just inside the first turn on your right, due East. Can you see the building on your left that looks as though it’s going to fall down on you? Why not have your photograph taken holding the building up.
When you get to the top carry on heading back to The Guildhall, East 120 degrees and stop at the corner on the end. Look up to find the figure of a man and draw him – what do you think he is holding?
What do you think the Market Place was used for? What shops that are still here might you have seen in a 16th-century market? Why not collect a certificate from the Guildhall and look around inside to find out lots more facts about Lavenham and its crooked houses. Don't forget to return your compass to the Guildhall before you leave.
Lavenham Guildhall TL916493
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