Originally called Bedricesworth, pilgrims came to worship at the shrine containing the martyred King Edmund, thus lending his name to the town. The enormous Benedictine Abbey of St Edmundsbury, alas now in ruins, was one of the largest in the country, extending its influence over much of Suffolk. Its existence contributed to the affluence of the town - so much so that even kings held their Parliament here! The town's affinity with Magna Carta is something it is proud of. Bury received its first charter from James I in 1606, enabling it to prosper even further with a growth envied by other towns. The twentieth century saw the creation of the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich. The parish church of St James became Suffolk's Cathedral; its millennium tower is magnificent inside and out. Today tourists come to enjoy the wealth of history and heritage.
About the Author
Martyn was born and bred in Bury St Edmunds. He was a committee member responsible for heritage and history for the Bury Society. On behalf of the Bury Society he was the co-ordinator of a blue plaque scheme for the town which was completed in 2012. This involved a lot of research including producing a pamphlet about the plaque recipients. On several occasions Martyn has liaised with the local press on various aspects of Bury St Edmunds. Over the years he has been involved with writing articles on the town’s history and has contributed to four booklets produced by a local history group, Bury Heritage Guides. As an amateur historian he also gives talks on the history of the town.