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Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Laxfield, with its wealth of timber-framed houses, is widely regarded as one of the most attractive villages in north Suffolk.
Where is Laxfield?
Laxfield is off the beaten track but well worth a visit. It is situated on the B1117, about 13 miles east of Eye. If approaching from the Norwich direction, take the A140 into Suffolk and turn left onto the B1118 Stradbroke Road. Continue through Hoxne, and turn left onto the B1117 at Stradbroke church, which is about three miles from Laxfield.
Laxfield still retains much of its rural charm, with no fewer than 48 of its thatched and timbered buildings listed as being of historic and architectural interest.
You would have to travel some distance to find a more picturesque building than the Guild Hall of St Mary, situated in the main street, opposite the church. Donated to the village by the Lord of the Manor as a church house in 1461, it now serves as a museum.
The village also has a lovely parish church with, one of the finest sacramental fonts in the country dating from the 15th century. An unusual feature is the banks of box seats in the nave that were intended for children.
The Puritan William Dowsing lived in the village although it seems uncertain whether he was actually born there. Dowsing was responsible for destroying or defacing scores of religious objects and icons in over 150 Suffolk churches. Yet he allowed the highly ornate font in the parish church to escape unscathed.
The village was once the final stopping place for the Mid Suffolk Light Railway line. Known fondly as the Middy, it provided the rural community with a transport link to the outside world, running across country to Haughley, near Stowmarket, with several stops on the way.