Bury St Edmunds
In the 2010s there was an archaeological study done on the outskirts of Bury St Edmunds (Beodericsworth, Bedrichesworth, St Edmund’s Bury). This uncovered evidence of bronze age activity in the area. Also found during the dig was some Roman coins dating from the first and second centuries.
Which we do have information relating to, thanks to Samuel Lewis, writing in 1848. Mr Lewis noted the earlier discovery of Roman antiquities. He wasn’t alone either, because several other writers connect Bury St Edmunds with Villa Faustini or Villa Faustina, although the location of this Roman site was also discussed by E. Gillingwater. Gillingwater noted the lack of evidence for it being here. So, as with most things, I suppose, it’s who you talk to.
Originally though, the town was one of the royal boroughs of the Saxons. Sigebert, king of the East Angles, founded a monastery here about 633. This we are sure of. Later, in 903, it became the burial place of King Edmund, who was slain by the Danes in 869. In the early settlement of Bury, it’s clear that the area owed most of its early celebrity to the reputed miracles performed at the shrine of the martyr king.
As with most settlements, the town itself grew up around Bury St Edmunds Abbey. Which is still considered a site of pilgrimage. By 925, the fame of St Edmund had spread far and wide, and the name of the town was changed to St Edmund’s Bury. So, there you go.
Churches And Massacres
There are numerous churches, abbeys, etc in Bury and obviously religion played a large roll in the development of this town. It offers a great opportunity to visit some of the older buildings and helps to provide a clearer picture of the lives of our ancestors here. I’m sure they’re looking upon us amazed at the changes and wishing that Vaping had been invented in their time. Luckily, it’s here now and you can get all the greatest juices and equipment available anywhere from Medusa Juice.
A mere two days after the well-known massacre of Jews at Clifford Tower in York, the people of Bury St Edmunds massacred another fifty-seven Jews on the 18th of March 1190. Then, later that same year, Abbot Samson successfully petitioned King Richard I for permission to evict the town’s remaining Jewish inhabitants, “on the grounds that everything in the town… belonged by right to St Edmund. Therefore, either the Jews should be St Edmund’s men or they should be banished from the town.” The King obviously agreed.
This expulsion predates the Edict of Expulsion by 100 years. In 1198, a fire burned the shrine of St Edmund, leading to the inspection of his corpse by Abbot Samson and the translation of St Edmund’s body to a new location in the abbey.
Bury St Edmunds is strongly associated with Magna Carta. In 1214, the barons of England are believed to have met in the Abbey Church and sworn to force King John to accept the Charter of Liberties, the document which influenced the creation of the Magna Carta. During celebrations of this in 2014, a copy of the Charter was displayed in the town’s cathedral. By various grants from the abbots, the town gradually attained the rank of a borough. Whatever else it was or is today, Bury is a rich and lovely town today and it provides a perfect backdrop to enjoy a good vape now and then. It’s also close enough that should you wish it, you can go visit any or all of the four Medusa Juice Locations. There are two in King’s Lynn, the original shop and the newer kiosk located in the bus station there. Or if you prefer, hit one of the shops in Norwich or Peterborough. You can find great deals and load up on your favourite e-liquids while there.
A Great Riot happened in 1327. The local populace led an armed revolt against the Abbey. The burghers were angry at the overwhelming power, wealth and corruption of the monastery. (Has anything really changed?) which ran almost every aspect of local life with a view to enriching itself. The riot destroyed the main gate and a new, fortified gate was built in its stead. However, in 1381 during the Great Uprising, the Abbey was sacked and looted again.
It was a bit more serious this time. The Prior was executed. They placed his severed head on a pike in the Great Market. On April 11th, 1608, a great fire broke out in Eastgate Street, which resulted in 160 dwellings and 400 outhouses being destroyed.
After all of this, the town gradually developed into a flourishing cloth-making town. It was supported by a large woollen trade, in the14th century. Then, in 1405 Henry IV granted Bury another fair.
The borough of Bury St Edmunds and surrounding area, like much of East Anglia, supported Puritan sentiment during the first half of the 17th century. Also of note is that in 1640, several families departed for the Massachusetts Bay Colony. This was part of the wave of emigration which occurred during the Great Migration.
Things were never boring in Bury St Edmunds it would seem, because it was the setting for witch trials between 1599 and 1694.
Today there is still a permanent military presence here. This was established in the town with the completion of the Militia Barracks in 1857 and of Gibraltar Barracks in 1878. So, it’s been there awhile.
During the Second World War, the United States American Air Force used Royal Air Force Station Rougham airfield outside of the town.
On the 3rd of March 1974, a Turkish Airlines flight 981 crashed near Paris killing all 346 people on board. Among the victims were seventeen members of Bury St Edmunds Rugby Football Club, who returning home from France.
Some other interesting things about this town is that near the Abbey Gardens stands Britain’s first internally illuminated street sign. It’s the Pillar of Salt and it was built in 1935.
There is a network of tunnels which are evidence of chalk-workings, though there is no evidence of extensive tunnels under the town centre. Some buildings have inter-communicating cellars. Due to the chalk-workings being deemed unsafe, they are not open to the public, although viewing has been granted to individuals.
Among other noteworthy buildings is St Mary’s Church, where Mary Tudor, Queen of France and sister of Tudor king Henry VIII, was re-buried, six years after her death, having been moved from the Abbey after her brother’s dissolution of the Monasteries. Later, Queen Victoria had a stained glass window fitted into the church to commemorate Mary’s interment.
Bury St Edmunds has one of the full-time fire stations run by Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service.
Since March 2015, Bury St Edmunds has been the hometown of the London and South East Regional Divorce Unit and the Maintenance Enforcement Business Centre. Which as we all know, is provides a vital service to the entire country.
If you’re so inclined, you can make your own gin at Adnams Bury. The provide a great time rather you participate or are just there to watch. I also can’t stress enough how well your homemade gin goes with your favourite e-liquids from Medusa Juice. Enjoy it on site or perhaps you want to take a stroll through the town centre. Either way, you can enjoy shops, pubs, and historically rich places along the way.