Did you know that Bury St Edmunds takes its name from King Edmund who was the original Patron Saint of England and Saxon King of East Anglia? King Edmund’s shrine, which has been situated at the Abbey of St Edmund since 903 was once one of the wealthiest and well-known pilgrimage sites in England. The history of Bury St Edmunds is both fascinating and intriguing.
Many of us have lived in this area for years and have heard snippets of its rich history during our lives here. Over time it is easy to become accustomed to the sights, almost oblivious, to barely notice them, however once you take time to learn their history it is hard not to be in awe of these ancient landmarks and the secrets they hold.
This week we had a visit from local historian, John. John knows everything worth knowing about Bury and conveys these facts in a fun way. He is so knowledgeable. I think he was a little taken aback by the number of people in the room, keen to hear him speak.
We had a wonderful morning listening to his tales of intrigue, a lot of Bury’s history is shrouded in mystery. Some of his tales were a little spooky. Listening to stories of Benedictine Monks and the Norman Conquest and realising that this all happened just outside our window is quite humbling.
We absorbed every piece of information John had to offer, there were many questions, and we were genuinely sad that it had to end and continued to discuss all that we had learned for the rest of the day.
The Great Gate of the Abbey is still standing and has been since the 14th century. Many of us have memories of picnics and days out around the Abbey, we found ourselves discussing the things that have happened on that very same spot, it’s quite overwhelming.
We are all hoping that John will be back soon, we still have so many questions. We are also now looking forward to our next trip out to the Abbey Gardens. We shall certainly look at them in a very different light.