• LOCATION 17 | Lavenham: A Walk on the Medieval Side

    Bolton Street

    Here we are at the top of Shilling Street at the junction with Bolton Street. Let's stop here for a moment.

    Look back down Shilling Street, what a view!

    Shilling Street got its name from a rich wool merchant, so Bolton Street is named after a "John Bolton". He had a grand timbered house near here but this was pulled down to make way for a Methodist Chapel in 1905. Looking down Schilling Street we can see that after the thriving wool trade era Lavenham did not get much new housing until we get to the Victorian period, after 1830.

    You can take a look at the buildings going down Bolton street and note that there are fewer of the timbered houses. Times were changing and the old timbered house had their problems.

    Water supply and health were very serious problems in Lavenham up until the late 1800s. There were 6 deaths from Typhoid in 1898 in these 2 streets alone. The poorest families had to go down to the the tiny stream at the bottom of the hill for their water. Even the wealthiest families, who had a well dug on their premises, still had to go down on their knees to draw water from the well in dry spells. But after tests by the Victorian health officials it was declared that the water in the stream was not fit for human consumption.

    When you're ready, turn so that Shilling Street is on your left , go to the end of the street, keeping the school on your left.


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Lavenham: A Walk on the Medieval Side