Friday, 6 May 2016

The Little Hall Museum, Lavenham

Yesterday the bf and I were in Suffolk for our annual treat, a Christmas present in fact - lunch at The Great House in Lavenham.  Afterwards and slightly tipsy we went next door to the romantic, exquisite Little Hall Museum. This was our second visit and the first for me with a camera.  As you may recall I first blogged about The Little Hall back in 2013.  Way back then I gave a very short history of the place: a late medieval cloth merchant's house restored in the early part of 20th century by twins Robert & Thomas Gayer-Anderson who filled the place with beautiful things from the Middle East and Renaissance Italy.  Anglo-Irish, or 'Ascendancy', Thomas & Robert (a qualified doctor) served in the British and Egyptian armies.  Both men were also romantics, adventurers, artists, homosexuals, and avid collectors.  Retiring in 1929 Thomas bought and restored Little Hall and it was to remain his home until his death in 1960. Robert remained in the Middle East taking a number of civilian posts with the Egyptian government.  The medieval house in Cairo, Bayt al-Kradlea, which he bought, restored and furnished, and which he was forced to abandon due to ill health in 1942 and gave to the Egyptian government, is now The Gayer-Anderson Museum.  It was to Little Hall and Thomas that Robert returned to in 1942 and lived there for the remaining three years of his life.  The Little Hall then, I would guess, is primarily a reflection of the taste Thomas Gayer-Anderson.  It consists of a main, medival block to the street and a longer wing at right angles which in part, I think, dates from inter-war period. The garden is very English and quite lovely.  The images reflect our route through the museum.

Finally I couldn't resist showing yet another view of the outside with its gorgeous ochre limewash.

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