The Church of the Holy Trinity in Long Melford, Suffolk, is one of the most celebrated ecclesiastical buildings in the country, dominating its host village and its 3,675 residents. It is a perfect example of the gothic perpendicular style and, in proportions, would be better suited to a cathedral or minster. Its establishment, size and splendour is a surviving testament to a single product – wool.
For centuries, wool was England’s most valuable export and vast wealth was built from the back of the simple sheep. Holy Trinity Church is just one example of a ‘wool church’, grand and ornate manifestations of local prosperity and pride that can be found across England. Money from the medieval wool trade was concentrated on two areas, the Cotswolds and East Anglia and in each towns and villages are studded with monumental churches, trade halls and market places.