Historic market town Sudbury is the birthplace of the great British portrait painter Thomas Gainsborough and the town pays due homage to its famous son in the not to be missed Gainsborough’s House Museum within the painter’s birthplace home. A riverside market town alongside the Stour, Sudbury boasts a beautiful market town centre with spectacular Medieval, Tudor and Georgian architecture all tightly packed around the central striking St Peter Church with Gainsborough statue adjacent. This statue of the artist in his birthplace town was unveiled in 1913.
A great base from which to explore the Suffolk and Essex market towns, Sudbury offers boat trips from its quayside where you’ll also find the popular Georgian Granary tearoom. Choose from a selection of Sudbury holiday cottages and beautiful boutique hotels with conference and wedding facilities.
The market town also has a selection of cosy inn bed and breakfast accommodation and in the surrounding countryside you’ll find more beautiful heritage inns and 5 Star historic cottages with beamed ceilings, 4 poster beds and original features. Pretty Sudbury centre is packed with independent inns, specialist and independent shops and the Victorian Corn Exchange.
One of the best archives and collections of Gainsborough’s artwork outside of London can be seen at Gainsborough’s House in Sudbury. Gainsborough was famed for his portraits and he was born here in Sudbury at Gainsborough’s House in 1727. Drawings, paintings and prints by the artist are all on display in the townhouse which dates from around 1500 but has a Georgian frontage added by Gainsborough’s father.
The collection within includes early portraits by the artist alongside Suffolk landscapes painted by Gainsborough. Probably the best existing collection of Gainsborough drawings is here at Gainsborough’s House, essential viewing for fans of the artist. Personal memorabilia is exhibited around the entrance hall. Rare books as well as work by artists who were close to or influenced Gainsborough are also on display. A gift shop and coffee shop are both onsite.
Historic Buildings in Sudbury
Sudbury contains some stunning historic buildings. The Sudbury History Society offer a superb tour of the town’s landmarks including several beautiful timber-framed halls such as the Tudor Moot Hall built during the reign of Mary I. The part medieval St Peter Church with various additions and restorations through the centuries is a central hub in the town. Original doors feature in the interior and the roof dates from the 15th century. Many town events and activities take place here as although the church is consecrated it is used as a social and cultural centre open to the public.