Is volunteering on your ‘to do’ list this year?
Why not make it your New Year’s resolution?
Little Hall has some wonderful stories to tell and volunteering is incredibly rewarding, even if you only have a few hours a week to spare any help would be most welcome.
We need help to guide our visitors, in our shop, in the garden, to look after our collections and much more.
Then it’s probably front of house for you – introducing visitors to the history of the house and its contents, welcoming them in the shop and helping them to choose their souvenirs
There’s much to be done from gardening, moving furniture to helping with publicity, scheduling, the accounts, special events,
Then we have regular tasks, occasional ones, big ones, small ones, from surfing the web to maintaining email contacts, updating social media, historical research, writing publicity material, newsletters, book-keeping, data entry.
The very fabric of Little Hall captures the history of Lavenham and the growth and later decline of the cloth trade. In a prime position on the Market Place in Lavenham, there has probably been a building here since the 13th century when the village got its market charter. The house now known as Little Hall was owned by one of the many Lavenham clothier families who organised and benefited from the growth of the industry during the 14th and 15th centuries.
It is a typical hall house of the type found throughout southern England, with a central hall rising to the roof providing the public space and two jettied wings for private and service uses. The south wing of the present building no longer exists, probably due to some catastrophe, maybe a fire, but it would originally have replicated the north wing. During the height of the cloth trade’s prosperity in the 1500’s, the house was brought up to date with glass in the windows, a hearth and chimney and a ceiling/floor inserted, dividing the central hall into two storeys. Later still the north wing was further extended nearly doubling the size of the original building.
As the cloth trade in Lavenham declined in the 18th and 19th century so did the fortunes of the wealthy clothiers who left to seek business elsewhere. These fine houses were divided up and by the middle of the 19th century the house was home to five or six working families.
It was purchased in 1924 by Robert and Thomas Gayer Anderson along with the Great House next door. The brothers set about restoring the property naming it the ‘Little Hall’ in 1935. Both brothers travelled widely during their military careers and collected artefacts from around the world which are now proudly displayed in the rooms.
If you would like to find out more about volunteering at this lovely old house please join us.