On our previous excursion we followed the River Box – one of the major tributaries of 11miles, this time we will investigate the longest tributary – the River Brett. There are two headstreams but we’ll start at the longest -

Q1 - the source of which is where?

We will leave to the southwest till we meet the A1141 where we head left. After a short distance of about ¼ mile we pass a building which has had a significant change of use from its construction in 1891.

Q2 at that time what did it replace?  (Its modern day conversion is worth a look on Google Maps photos!)

Follow the Bury Road till we meet Preston Road on the left. If we go into Street view there’s a sign post just before the junction.

Q3 What National Route are we on?

Continuing in Street View into Lavenham we can view some of the lovely old buildings built during the wool era. Next to MarshBeck Interiors is a pretty cottage – what is its name? (If you want to browse the MarshBeck Interiors – they have some interesting and V. expensive items. Google Maps photos give a better feel of the place but their website has some interesting timber products!!). Continuing down the street just before Hall road is Munnings Tea Rooms at the Crooked House! Opposite is the Lavenham Greyhound – it dates back to 1324 -

Q4 – what was its role then?

Further down just before Water Street is the Swan.

Q5 What was this building before the Swan in the late C17th?

Here we will take the route SW as the crows fly to visit the magnificent church St Peter & St Paul – another symbol of the wealth from the Wool Trade. At that time Lavenham was the fourteenth wealthiest town in England despite its relatively tiny area and the church, built in 1340AD was remodelled continuously from 1480 to 1520 at the expense of mainly  local benefactors

Q6 What were their family names?  It is worth looking at some photos of the interior of this – it has a tower which is the tallest village church in England of 141’. The carvings here are probably Flemish – the painted rood screen (1330-1340) Spourne parclose screen & chancel chapel quite spectacular as are the misiricords.

Q7 What are misiricords

We’ll now return to our Street view where we finished at the Swan turning left into Water Street

Q8 What you can see on the side of the building above this street name.

 We’ll perambulate up here then turn left into Lady Street. On the corner is No. 10 and is one of Lavenham’s most architecturally and historically important buildings. It is now a Wine Bar and Kitchen.

Q9 What was it originally known as?

At the top of Lady Street is the Guildhall. Another stunning building owned by the National Trust.

Q10 It once housed a Bridewell, What is that?

From here we’ll meet Barn Street. Opposite the junction is one of the finest medieval buildings in Lavenham, a late 14th-century hall house called Little Hall, built by the Causton family in the1390’s. It is now a museum. It was rescued from decay in the early C20th by a pair of soldier twins and artists with an interest in the arts and collecting.

Q11 What was their family name?   Should you wish to plow through the Google Photos you will find a plaque in the garden showing that these were no foot soldiers but highly ranked!  No coconuts for that extra research though!

Now I would like to retrace our steps back to Water Street to turn left, again in Street View where we shall pass more Tudor buildings. On the right is Lavenham Priory – a B&B apparently set in 3 acres of picturesque grounds! Next we have De Vere House another B&B! This was the setting in Part 1 for Harry Potter’s family home and birthplace in Godric’s Hollow, with The Guild Hall being his parents’ dilapidated home! It wasn’t filmed there but with CGI imagery was used as a backdrop. The ornate front door is one of the most photographed in the UK. Again Google has some interior shots which may be of interest. The White Horse at #58 is now privately owned –apparently built in 1425 and at one time sold Mauldons Ales! So we’ll now leave Lavenham continuing on the A1141 shadowing the river through Brent Eleigh and Monks Eleigh ("Eleigh" means "Ilia's Wood"; "Brent" refers to a fire sometime before 1254). At the junction of Cock Lane, just before the village stands the Cock Inn. It is listed by CAMRA as a best real heritage pub

Q12 What cider does it normally sell?

Q13 What does CAMROT stand for?

Continuing to Monks Eleigh we will halt in the centre and to the left is the church of St Peter with a commanding tower (again the wool trade!). It houses 6 bells (in addition to the hour bell on the top!)

Q14 How old is the oldest bell?

Back at the junction of Church Hill and A1141 stands the Swan Inn, a Grade II listed building.

Q15 how far away is the Peacock?

At the junction of Highlands Road we will leave the A1141 as it turns south  missing the Lavenham Falconry site and go on the B1115 to Chelsworth, rated by many as the prettiest village in Suffolk! Just west of the Village we cross another headstream of the River Brett, the shorter on called the Brettenham Stream. Funnily enough its source is just north of Brettenham –so we’ll take the crow route to St Mary the Virgin, Brettenham.

Q16 What spelling error was made in 1717?

From here the route takes us SW on the Street to branch right and continue to meet Bury Road and then turn right at Old Buckenham Hall into Chapel Hill. (From a satellite view you can see this school has great sporting facilities!). Just before reaching Thorpe Morieux we cross the Stream though you wouldn’t know it! In the Google Photos of the church you will find an unusual font cover.

Q17 What does it look like?

So we’ll continue to keep close to the river by following the Bury Road and then forking left to cross the stream on an unnamed road to a staggered crossroad where we continue SE till we reach Kettlebaston- another St Mary’s church! A very ornate one for such a very remote place.

Q18 What is visible on a buttress behind a grille?

From here the route takes us SW then SE till we return to the B1175 to Chelsworth again and the Peacock1 It took us a long way to get that mile or so!! The road goes NE and crosses the Bildeston Stream before going south. We will continue northwards to Bildeston and to its 15thC Coaching Inn. With many culinary awards this has gained a big reputation. Food boxes and meals are available during lockdown.

Q19 In Feb 2009 who did the head chef take on and win?

Q20 Which other pub was the only building in the detached portion of Wattisham in 1882?

Well we can now return south to meet another tributary of the River Brett at Kersey Mill which was where we started in TH #1!

I apologise if this one was a bit strained but I had a start position and an end so had to find questions to fill that space!