St Peter and St Paul's Church, Lavenham

Lavenham, United Kingdom

St Peter and St Paul's Church, Lavenham


St Peter and St Paul's Church, Lavenham is a Grade I listed parish church in the Church of England in Lavenham, Suffolk. It is a notable wool church and regarded as one of the finest examples of Late Perpendicular Gothic architecture in England.

A church has existed on the current site, in a prominent position to the west of the town, since Anglo-Saxon times. The original church, which was probably wooden, was rebuilt in stone in the 14th century. The chancel is the oldest part of the current church, having been constructed in c. 1340 and decorated with money from wealthy citizens, including Thomas Spring II. In the decades following the Black Death the town of Lavenham grew rich as a result of the booming wool trade. The 14th-century church was added to and modified several times in order to convey the new wealth of its religious community. The eastern vestry, built in 1440, is the only other remaining part of the previous church building. Following the victory of Henry VII at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, the Earl of Oxford, a major local landowner and commander of Henry's army, suggested that the church should be rebuilt in the latest style to celebrate the new Tudor king. However, it is likely that plans were already underway to rebuild the church in order to reflect the growing prosperity of Lavenham.

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