Introduction to Little Hall
One of the oldest buildings in the best preserved of the Suffolk wool towns, medieval sources suggest that this 14th century house was built for the Causton family of clothiers and its subsequent development has mirrored the changing fortunes of Lavenham.
Little Hall was restored by the Gayer-Anderson brothers who filled the house with art and artefacts collected during their extensive travels. Study the development of the Tudor house, explore the collection, relax in its tranquil walled garden or, with a guide, hear the story of its occupants through the centuries. Whatever your interest this much loved museum will welcome and intrigue you.
The House and Garden
Step inside Little Hall, one of the oldest timberframed buildings in the best preserved of the Suffolk wool towns. Its history mirrors the changing fortunes of Lavenham.
Built in the 1390s for the Causton family of clothiers, enlarged and improved in 1425-50, it was then ‘modernised’ in Tudor times by the addition of a fireplace and upper floor in the hall.
Picture the austerity of this 14th Century house when the Caustons first lived in it and contrast the starkness of the Middle Ages with the beautiful furnishings and artefacts in the house today.
Wander through the seven rooms and discover the treasures of Little Hall including the study with exotic Persian panels and the spectacular upstairs chamber with its striking crown-post.
Not to be missed!
Walk round the beautiful garden combining a knot-garden planted along Tudor lines with a traditional English walled garden.
Come into a museum that has the atmosphere of a home – the only example of domestic medieval architecture open to the public in the village. Little Hall is an essential part of your visit to Lavenham.
The Gayer-Anderson twin brothers, soldiers with a shared interest in art and collecting, and themselves talented artists in drawing, painting and sculpture, rescued Little Hall in the 1920-30s.
They restored the house and made it their home, filling it with an eclectic mix of antiques, pictures, books, china and decorative art.
Many of their personal possessions remain in Little Hall while their antiquities were donated to museums worldwide. Robert Gayer-Anderson became an Egyptologist of distinction and was given the title ‘Pasha’. View his brother’s bronze replica of the British Museum’s famous Gayer-Anderson cat representing the goddess Bastet.
Hear from our friendly, informative guides how the brothers bought the house, what they found, what they resolved to do and how they set about it.
For younger children there is a cat trail. Find all ten toy cats in the different rooms.
For older children there is a quiz of fifteen questions.
Our volunteers are on hand to help if you get stuck.
Collect a small gift and receive a sticker from the shop on your way out.
The Home Front
In the Dormitory so named because it became one in September 1939 as World War II was declared in order to house five evacuee boys from Bethnal Green
In the chest that stands there still, each boy kept the small suitcase of clothes which he brought in his own drawer marked with his own name. Check out their washing places and the beautifully housed lead basin down which they emptied their chamber pots!
Perhaps influenced by the Gayer-Anderson tales of exciting foreign travel, three of the five boys emigrated
Displays show a little of the Bethnal Green bombing and the greatest civilian disaster of the war there that they escaped and the stories of the boys’ future lives – influenced by the Gayer-Anderson tales of exciting foreign travel, perhaps, three of the five boys emigrated.
A brief period in Little Hall’s 700 year history – but a very different one.
Other SBPT Sites
This will give you information on things to do, places to eat, shop and stay
See the best Lavenham attractions with a plan including Little Hall Lavenham