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CREDIT: Romesh de Silva

The Crooked in Lavenham by Romesh de Silva (Sri Lanka)

Black & white memories of a medieval village, and its crooked soul

We were driving down to Sudbury from Edinburgh

through those scenic and windy little village backroads

to spend time with our in-laws before heading home to

Sri Lanka. This was the summer of 2015 and we broke

journey in a quaint little medieval town, called Lavenha



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Edinburgh that year was particularly nice, and the Fringe festival that we enjoy so much had a special surprise for us. “Men with coconuts”, an award-winning comedy troupe who revel in unscripted short skits, picked our family to imitate on stage, with my son playing a part. They even did a role on our doggy Razer. In the end we got a coconut each and my son an autographed book.

Lavenham reveals itself in a manner that it takes you back to the Tudors. Built on prosperous wool trade many hundred years ago, this well-preserved timbered village has many cobbled streets that have witnessed the times.  These wonky but snug red bricked terraced homes line those little circular by-lanes which go on forever. They take you back step by step, as you walk along absorbing the wonderful surroundings. I was not surprised to come across a few thatched houses still being occupied too, and the imposing church of Peter & Paul, the tallest of such village structures in England.

Being late summer with the weather gods kissing autumn, the days were cool and the evenings were tempting. Such nice times would not be complete without a visit to a charming local pub not far away. Sitting out you let the warmth of your body wrestle with the chill of the evening, the wonderful sensation one feels when you sip the golden firewater that flows down from Scotland.  This pub aptly named “the Nutshell” is Britons tiniest as claimed by the owner and had its ceiling lined with banknotes. 

We stayed in a pleasant little place named “Hour Cottage” which was down a side lane from the main road. I was glad we decided to live in, rather than drive through. You feel the essence of the place only when you do that, and more over in a medieval old Cottage.

We were all happy to see life as it should be, with the village folk going about their business in their own laid-back way. Being the selfish kind, I thought having no tourists was great. It was September after all and the schools had stated and the Chinese had gone back.

The uniqueness of this little town cannot be explained, nor be captured through photographs. The antiquated buildings with myriad roofs, the windows and doors each so different to one another, the lack of uniformity in structures that we are not used to seeing,  the cobbled streets that trip you over, the rustic walls that feast your eyes.  To feel the soul of Lavenham I would turn colour off my vision. Here I am trying to reach out to feel its pulse, I know Lavenham, you are very much alive. Thank you, my friend, till we meet again.