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This is our hometown, so we thought it might be fun to explore what Sudbury is famous for.
Born in Sudbury in 1727, Thomas Gainsborough was a founding member of the Royal Academy of Arts and is considered one of the 18th centuries most influential British portrait artists. The statue on Market Hill commemorates Gainsborough, originally unveiled in 1913. Head to 46 Gainsborough Street and you’ll find his birthplace at Gainsborough House; now an impressive museum and gallery. Which is your favourite Gainsborough piece and why?
English landscape painter, John Constable, was born in Suffolk in 1776 and took great inspiration from his Suffolk and Stour Valley surroundings; hence the area’s nickname ‘Constable Country’. Regularly working in and around Sudbury, Constable’s most famous paintings were influenced by Wivenhoe Park (Colchester), Dedham Vale (northeast Essex) and The Hay Wain (near Flatford in East Bergholt); all just a short distance from our beautiful town of Sudbury.
Providing the sensational backdrop for the aforementioned artists, Sudbury is renowned for its superb natural beauty and charming countryside. Offering some stunningly preserved Victorian terrace houses, gorgeous Georgian manor houses, a handful of quaint Queen Anne-era architecture and marvellous medieval timber-framed Halls, houses, cottages and churches, Sudbury is a living time-capsule awaiting your visit.
Written in 1956 by Dodie Smith, the classic children’s tale 101 Dalmatians gives Sudbury a mention – no joke! As Pongo and Missis travel to ‘Hell Hall’ to confront Cruella de Vil and rescue their puppies, as the clock strikes midnight they rest for a minute to take a drink from the Sudbury water fountain. Restored to its former glory in 2015, after being virtually demolished by a truck accident in 1990, the 19th Century horse trough is located outside Sudbury’s St Peter’s Church on Market Hill.
Simon Sudbury was born here and progressed from the chaplain of Pope Innocent VI to Bishop of London and then Archbishop of Canterbury, serving Edward III of England. More infamous than famous, in 1380 Sudbury advanced to Lord Chancellor of England but this was to be his last appointment. A major uprising took place across England in 1381, due to tensions created by the Black Death, high taxes and local leadership instabilities – which resulted in Kentish rebels seizing and dragging Simon Sudbury to Tower Hill, where they brutally beheaded him following 8 blows to the neck! He was buried in Canterbury Cathedral, but his mummified skull remains at the church on Gregory Street; St Gregory’s Church.