Explore sudbury town centre
Set in the heart of the beautiful Stour Valley, the famous landscape that inspired painters Thomas Gainsborough and John Constable. Sudbury is a thriving market town and has been since Saxon times.
Before the Roman Conquest an Iron Age settlement occupied the defensible spur of high ground, roughly between the Croft and Stour Street. The development of the present town began in the Middle Saxon period and the semi-circular street pattern to the west of Market Hill represents successive expansions of the town in late Saxon and Norman times.
The written history of the town began when Sudbury was mentioned in the Anglo Saxon Chronicle of 797AD; the town’s entry in Domesday Book in 1086 records a church, a mill, market and the meadows which remain such an attractive feature of the town today.
The medieval woollen cloth industry, the coming of the River Navigation and then the Railway, the 19th century silk industry, all helped to generate prosperity and contributed to the diverse buildings heritage and unique townscape which is Sudbury’s pride. Read more on Sudbury's history here.
MARKET HILL &
Sudbury is a thriving market town with a long history. Sudbury's first known mention as a Market Town was in the Doomsday Book of 1086 and the outdoor market is still a central part of Sudbury life today. Held every Thursday and Saturday on Market Hill in the centre of town, Sudbury's traditional market is well worth a visit.
On Market Hill, the siting of St. Peter's Church and the wide open spaces surrounding it was a deliberate & successful piece of fourteenth century town planning.
TALBOT TRAIL POSTS NEARBY: NO. 4
CULTURAL & COMMUNITY VENUE
Standing proudly at the head of Market Hill in the heart of Sudbury, St Peter’s is a beautiful Grade I listed building with a wealth of heritage, dating back to the 14th Century. St Peter's is now a thriving cultural centre, hosting a range of events including live music, theatre, exhibitions, fairs and festivals.
In September 2020, the Churches Conservation Trust secured £1.67M in funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund; paving the way for some ambitious changes.
TALBOT TRAIL POSTS NEARBY: NO. 2
THE TOWN HALL
VISTOR INFORMATION &
SUDBURY HERITAGE CENTRE
Built by Thomas Ginn of Sudbury 1826/27 and opened for use in 1828. It is a fine and well-proportioned building in the Greek classic style occupying a prestigious site overlooking the Old Market Place. The Town Hall is home to Sudbury Town Council offices and Advice Centre.
At the rear is the old and impressive entrance to the former town gaol, which held the prisoners overnight before the assizes. This has been skilfully adapted to serve as a fitting entrance to The Sudbury Heritage Centre and Visitor Information.
TALBOT TRAIL POSTS NEARBY: NO.1 & 2
OLD CORN EXCHANGE
SUDBURY LIBRARY &
DISTRICT COUNCIL SERVICES
A breath taking piece of architecture with its soaring columns each surmounted by a sheaf of corn and a group of reapers resting among the stooks. Built in 1842, the building served as the bustling Corn Exchange for over 100 years. Thankfully it was saved from demolition and skilfully converted into the town library in 1969.
Operated by Suffolk libraries, Sudbury Library hosts a number of events throughout the year as well as regular arts workshops for all ages. A district council service point is also based here twice a week.
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(CURRENTLY CLOSED FOR REDEVELOPMENT)
Thomas Gainsborough (1727-88) was born in Sudbury and was baptised at the Independent Meeting-House in Friars Street on 14 May 1727. In 1958 Gainsborough’s House Society was formed to purchase the house and establish it as a centre for Thomas Gainsborough. The Museum opened to the public in 1961 and has remained open ever since, operating as an independent charitable trust.
An ambitious redevelopment project is now underway to transform Gainsborough’s House to a national centre for art, on track to re-open in 2022.
TALBOT TRAIL POSTS NEARBY: NO. 5
ST GREGORY'S CHURCH
SITE OF BISHOP AELFHUN STATUE & SITE OF SIMON'S 14TH C. COLLEGE.
Christians have worshipped on this site for well over 1000 years. A statue of Bishop Aelfhun, who visited Sudbury in 797 AD, can be found outside the churchyard wall. A fine 15th century font cover can be found at St Gregory's - the tallest in Suffolk.
The grisly relic of the head of Simon of Sudbury is kept locked in the vestry. Simon founded a college for priests here and became Archbishop of Canterbury and then Chancellor of England. His introduction of the poll tax contributed to the Peasants' Revolt in 1381 and his beheading at the hands of a London mob.
TALBOT TRAIL POSTS NEARBY: NO.12 & 13