History and nature on the same track

The railway brought great change to Victorian Britain and continued to extend its influence into the 20th century. The local economy of Lavenham and Melford grew using the railway to bring in raw materials for the horsehair, mat and flax industries and taking out finished products and agricultural produce.

With the advent of the Second World War the railway became a true life line delivering hardcore to build numerous airfields and later fuel and munitions to service the planes of the US air force based there.

The railways continued as an important method of transport for both people and goods after the war when petrol rationing was in still in force but in the 50s and 60s with the rise of the car, the ‘writing was on the wall’ for small branch lines and in 1967 the line was completely closed.

Fifty years seems a long time. Track has been taken up, roads, houses and factories built where once white steam was evident, but traces of the line still remain, creating wonderful walks and amazing places for wildlife to flourish. Explore with us this little time capsule; imagining the sounds and smells of an age of steam, yet now providing a quiet and secluded habitat for nature and wildlife.

Upcoming events

Spinning Demonstrations

Thu 15 Nov 2018
Visit Lavenham Guildhall on one of our spinning days and see our wonderful volunteers in action; demonstrating the traditional art of spinning wool into the yarn we see and recognise today.

Boom & Bust in Medieval Lavenham

Tue 20 Nov 2018
Lavenham grew to be one of the richest towns in Tudor England and is one of the best preserved medieval villages. Learn about how it made its money and why it retains such a wealth of historic buildings.

Lavenham by Lantern Light

Wed 21 Nov 2018
See the medieval village of Lavenham in a whole new light on our Lantern Walk. The beautiful timber-framed buildings will come alive as you listen to the history of this hidden gem.

Pageants, Priests and Purgatory - Lecture Lunch

Tue 27 Nov 2018
Join us for coffee and an informative illustrated talk by Jane Gosling; followed by lunch in our lovely beamed tea-room.

The Magical Protection of Buildings

Tue 04 Dec 2018
In our high-tech world, it’s hard to comprehend the fears and superstitions of the past . The belief that witches and demons were hell-bent on destroying buildings and crops made people resort to ever more bizarre ways to protect themselves.

Lavenham Christmas Fair

Fri 07 Dec 2018
At the beginning of December for three days only, the Market Square is completely transformed to create the annual Lavenham Christmas Fair; the whole village coming together to welcome visitors from all over East Anglia and beyond.