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The Abbey Church of St Edmund Also known as Bury Abbey

 

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  • Abbey of St Edmund, Bury St Edmunds
  • Abbey of St Edmund, Bury St Edmunds

Other Information

  • Bedricsworth, now Bury St Edmunds, became a major point of pilgrimage in the mid 10th century thanks to its association with St Edmund, the murdered christian martyr king of East Anglia.
  • Edmund's personality cult grew to such size that it contained 300 holdings of land throughout England including 70 in Suffolk. There was complete legal control of the whole of the area of the now defunct West Suffolk County Council area which survived until 1974.
  • After Canterbury and Walsingham it was the main stopping point for pilgrims in medieval England, another source of the great wealth it displayed.
  • The power of the abbey was such that it remained independent from the Archdiocese of Canterbury and had direct links with Rome.
  • Rebuilding of the abbey began in 1095 and continued for 100 years funded with a massive influx of money from its holdings. At it's peak it housed 100 monks and a similar number of servants.
  • The library was one of the largest in Europe containing over 2,000 volumes of medieval illuminations.
  • The Abbey was over 160 metres long and 65 metres wide. It was so large you could fit Suffolk's biggest parish church, St Peter and St Paul at Lavenham, into the nave and transepts four times, and still have room for left over Thornham Parva up in the sanctuary.
  • The spire on the central tower reached an estimated 65 metres. The lantern tower was around 70 metres tall.
  • A fire wrecked havoc destroying much of the Abbey and its treasures in 1465 and the death knell sounded in 1538 when the land was sold off by the Crown.
  • St Edmund's body was finally offered for reburial and reburied in 1901 in Westminster Cathedral having presumed to have been lost for hundreds of years.

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Architect
John Wastell

Reference Data

Reference No.
3090
First Uploaded
19-02-2006
Last Editorial Date
03-08-2013
 

Building Location

Council
St Edmundsbury Borough Council
County
Suffolk
Region
East Anglia
Country
United Kingdom

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Building Specification

Status
Ruined
Construction start date
900
Completion date
1195
Demolition Date
1538
Style
Gothic

Roof Height (AGL)
70.00 *

Market Data

Primary Use
Place of Worship


Metres > Feet

* Estimated Height