Lavenham: A Walk on the Medieval Side
Village Sign and Cockhorse Inn
Hi ! I'm Stephen, and Welcome to my tour around Lavenham.
You should be standing in front of the village sign. With your back to the Cockhorse Inn.
As we walk round I will help you to see how the images on this wooden sign put up in 1990 describes the village. So let's go over and take a good look at the sign.
[4 SECOND PAUSE]
At the top of the sign we can see two heraldic shields, a Tudor rose, a weaver's loom and a large timbered building.
[10 SECOND PAUSE]
Alright, now turn around and have a look at the Cockhorse Inn.
The name "the Cock Horse" refers to the leading horse in a team of horses ploughing the field. Most likely the landlord of this public house wanted you to see it as the leading pub in the village. Many tourists want a selfie in front of this thatched country pub' thinking that it must be from Tudor times, as represented by the Tudor rose on the sign. Lavenham is justly proud of its many timbered buildings, often linked to the Tudor period.
But the thatched building you can see dates from the 1950s and was designed to match the other older buildings in the area. A much older timbered building, looking much like the one that you can see today, had stood in front of today’s Inn. It is an example of today's strict planning regulations put in place to maintain the medieval character of Lavenham. The name of the inn until recently was the Cock which might have referred to the sinister past time of cock fighting.
The older Inn in front of the church was the favourite haunt of the local bell ringers. The whole of the car park behind the inn was once a meadow that attracted local farmers to hold sheep shearing contests here a hundred years ago. I suspect that sheep shearing must have been thirsty work! Today’s pub is just at home serving a coffee as much as a beer.
So, let's get going.
Turn so the road is on your left.
Just ahead on your right is the gateway to the churchyard.
Make your way into it and continue along the path that branches out to the left.
While you walk, let me briefly explain how VoiceMap works.
It uses your location to play audio automatically, at the right time and place. This means that you can put your phone away now. Don't worry if I'm silent for a while, when I'm not giving directions or telling stories. There's a map on your screen if you ever feel lost, or if you do get way off track without noticing, VoiceMap will let you know.
Keep going along the path. You'll hear from me when you reach the church.