Lavenham was granted a Market Charter in 1257. It was allowed to hold a weekly market and two annual fairs. Permanent housing grew from market stalls. The roadway in front of the Guildhall is to this day called 'The Butchery', owing to the numbers of butcher's stall which lined it. The Market Cross was erected in 1502 by the will of William Jacob, clothier. It is said that the cross disappeared during the reformation, and was replaced with the stone orb which tops it today. Francis Lingard Ranson, who took the majority of photographs in this collection, lived at no.38, now called Taylor's Cottage.

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