The Abbey of St Edmund: award

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The gatehouse to the Abbey, Bury St Edmunds © David Gill

The Abbey of St Edmund Heritage Partnership has received £9,900 from the HLF to develop its interpretation of the abbey precinct (“Abbey of St Edmund project gains National Lottery backing“, St Edmundsbury Borough Council, Press Release, 8 June 2018).

It states:

The money from the Heritage Lottery Fund will help prepare for the work that will take place after those studies are completed, by enabling the Heritage Partnership to develop organisational capacity and establish an independent not-for-profit organisation. It will also be used to procure management consultancy, skills training and IT equipment and to enable lessons to be learned from the success of another project at a former Benedictine Abbey elsewhere in the country.

That in turn will mean that it will be better positioned to raise funds in the future while also developing the capacity required to deliver on major heritage and education projects.

The Partnership:

The Abbey of St Edmund Heritage Partnership is led by St Edmundsbury Cathedral in collaboration with St Edmundsbury Borough Council and representatives of Suffolk County Council, Historic England, English Heritage, the University of East Anglia, the University of Suffolk, the Bury Society and several local community groups as well as specialist architects, historians and archaeologists.

Blue Plaques in Suffolk

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Blue Plaques in Suffolk. Source: RSA Heritage Index

The RSA Heritage Index is using the erection of blue plaques as one of the indicators of heritage in a locality (‘Cultures and Memories’). I realise that these numbers could be out of date. The Ipswich Society lists 22 for Ipswich (see Open Plaques), whereas the Bury Society lists 8 for Bury St Edmunds. Other parts of the county also mark individuals, e.g. AldeburghWoodbridge.

Developments at the Abbey of St Edmund

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Bury St Edmunds Abbey © David Gill

Historic England has indicated that the tennis courts located immediately to the east of the crypt of the abbey of St Edmund can be moved and relocated on the other side of the river (“Historic England approves relocation of Abbey’s tennis courts“, BBC News 8 March 2018). The abbey and its precinct is subject to two consultancy studies (see here).

Heritage Futures Seminar: The Abbey of St Edmund

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The Abbey of St Edmund Heritage Partnership is seeking to record and interpret the remains of the Benedictine abbey in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. Richard Summers will be talking about the work of the partnership on Wednesday 21 February 2018 at 4.30 pm in the Waterfront Building of the University of Suffolk. The event forms part of the Heritage Futures research seminar series.

Places can be reserved via Eventbrite. All are welcome and there is no charge.

Further details about the project can be found here.

For the abbey:

Bury St Edmunds: The Abbey Church

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Bury St Edmunds © David Gill

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Bury St Edmunds, North Transept © David Gill

The Abbey Church was 154 m long. In the North Transept was St Martin’s Chapel and the Lady Chapel.

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Bury St Edmunds, South Transept © David Gill

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Bury St Edmunds, South Transept © David Gill

In the South Transept was the Chapel of St Nicholas.

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Bury St Edmunds, Crossing © David Gill

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Bury St Edmunds © David Gill

The crossing stood below the central tower with the choir stalls immediately to the west at the head of the nave. The nave was constructed during the time of Abbot Anselm (1119-1148).

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Bury St Edmunds © David Gill

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Bury St Edmunds, Nave © David Gill

To the east of the crossing lay the high altar and beneath it the crypt.

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Bury St Edmunds Abbey, looking east towards North Transept and Crossing © David Gill

The Value of Heritage and the RSA

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The gatehouse to the Abbey, Bury St Edmunds © David Gill

The importance of heritage to Suffolk will be the focus of the Second Coffeehouse event in Bury St Edmunds on Thursday 9 February 2017 at the Deanery.

Further details and booking can be found here. The meeting is open to Fellows and non-Fellows.

Chapel of St Nicholas at the Abbey of St Edmund

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Abbey of Bury St Edmunds © David Gill

The chapel of St Nicholas is the mouth southerly of the two chapels in the south transept of the Abbey of St Edmund. Next to it was the chapel of St John the Evangelist.

The chapels in the north transept were the Lady Chapel and the other for St Martin.