Britain at its best: Thomas Gainsborough’s birthplace of Suffolk is as pretty as a picture

Britain at its best: Thomas Gainsborough’s birthplace of Suffolk is as pretty as a picture

Britain at its finest: Thomas Gainsborough’s birthplace of Suffolk is as fairly as an image

  • The well-known portrait artist Thomas Gainsborough was born in Sudbury in Suffolk 
  • The home the place he was born, Gainsborough Home, is now a captivating museum
  • Near the city are many lovely villages within the surrounding rural Suffolk  

Stroll down Market Hill in Sudbury and you could possibly be again in 1727 — the 12 months the city’s most well-known son, Thomas Gainsborough, was born.

The painter would recognise the sumptuous medieval church buildings of Sudbury: St Gregory, St Peter and All Saints. 

He would know the 16th-century, half-timbered Black Boy Resort — and certainly love its ales brewed by Greene King.

Charming: The medieval timber-framed homes of Lavenham Excessive Avenue in Suffolk 

Most of all, he would recognise the home the place he was born — now referred to as Gainsborough’s Home, on Gainsborough Avenue.

His home is considered one of Britain’s most charming museums. Should you missed the current Gainsborough present on the Nationwide Portrait Gallery, much more cause to go to his birthplace.

From the surface, the grand, red-brick home appears a lot because it did in his youth — he lived there until 1740, earlier than being despatched to London to check artwork. The late medieval constructing was given its pretty facade by the artist’s father quickly after he purchased it in 1722.

The basic, panelled rooms comply with themes in Gainsborough’s life. Downstairs, you get introduction to his life story. 

Upstairs, you’ll discover a superb choice of his photos, amongst them a few of his portraits, which he referred to as ‘The curs’d face enterprise’ because it stored him from his landscapes.

Earlier than you permit Sudbury, observe down his bronze statue, paintbrush and palette in hand, on Market Hill. Then head into the beauties of rural Suffolk, remarkably unchanged since Gainsborough died in 1788. 

Look out for landscapes which might be uncannily just like the background of Gainsborough’s Mr and Mrs Andrews, now within the Nationwide Gallery.

The landscapes around Suffolk are uncannily like the background of this painting by Gainsborough - Mr and Mrs Andrews

The landscapes round Suffolk are uncannily just like the background of this portray by Gainsborough – Mr and Mrs Andrews

Gainsborough returned to Sudbury in 1749, along with his spouse, Margaret Burr, an illegitimate daughter of the Duke of Beaufort. It’s thought he painted Mr and Mrs Andrews a 12 months later. Make a journey to Lengthy Melford, which has Holy Trinity — one of many biggest church buildings within the nation, an unlimited, stately, medieval constructing, towering over Melford Inexperienced.

Only a ten-minute stroll away lies the Nationwide Belief’s Melford Corridor, an Elizabethan brick pile on the surface — all pepperpot towers and leaded home windows. On the within, it has a fragile, Georgian, classical fashion.

The prettiest village is Lavenham. Within the shadow of the flint tower of St Peter and St Paul’s Church is the best row of timber-framed homes in Suffolk. Maintain a watch out throughout the county for pretty, pink plasterwork — in medieval instances a touch of oxblood was added for color.

Then there’s my favorite Suffolk village of Stoke-by-Nayland, with its secondhand bookshop, village store, 15th-century church and two pubs, the Angel Inn and the Crown Inn.

And the perfect factor? The Crown has fantastic views of Gainsborough nation, that are free.


The Crown Inn,, 01206 262 001, has double rooms from £125 B&B. Gainsborough’s Home is open every single day. Adults £7; kids £2. Go to 


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