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Centuries-old rose rent tradition upheld in Long Melford despite coronavirus pandemic




A centuries-old tradition honouring a family’s major contributions to Long Melford and Hadleigh has been upheld, despite the coronavirus crisis.

Hadleigh mayor Helen Allan presented a red rose to Long Melford Parish Council chairman John Nunn, accepting it on behalf of the Clopton family of the United States, who were responsible for rebuilding Holy Trinity Church.

The tradition dates back to 1436, when Sir William Clopton granted Hadleigh a guildhall and land for a market, with an annual rent of one red rose, to be presented by the Hadleigh mayor at the village church.

John Nunn, chairman of Long Melford Parish Council, lays the red rose at the tomb of Sir William Clopton at the Holy Trinity Church. Contributed picture. (38509169)
John Nunn, chairman of Long Melford Parish Council, lays the red rose at the tomb of Sir William Clopton at the Holy Trinity Church. Contributed picture. (38509169)

Cllr Nunn, who laid the rose at Sir William’s tomb, said: “The rose rent is thought to be the oldest rent still paid anywhere in Great Britain.”

The service was attended by Hadleigh deputy mayor Carolyn Cammack, Long Melford councillor Richard Michette, the Rev Matthew Lawson and churchwardens Graham Wegg and Ian McDonald.