Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Bury St. Edmunds Cathedral (Bury St. Edmunds)

The Cathedral of St. James at Bury St. Edmunds has been created out of one of the churches associated with the great Abbey here. It has been a cathedral since 1914.

The Abbey was the burial place of St. Edmund, the martyr King of East Anglia, killed by the invading Danes in 870. The Abbey was enormous, and was the scene of the meeting held by barons, when they determined to make King John sign Magna Carta.

St. James’ Church was founded in 1125 for the townspeople, to avoid them having to worship in the Abbey itself.

The main body of the cathedral was constructed around the 15th century, under the direction of master craftsman John Wastell, who also worked on Canterbury Cathedral and the magnificent chapel of Kings College Cambridge. In the 19th century, the choir was rebuilt by Gilbert Scott.

Work has continued in the 20th century, and has culminated in the creation of a new, apparently mediaeval, tower, which was formally opened in 2005.

Outside the cathedral is a statue of St. Edmund by Dame Elisabeth Frink, who was herself born in Suffolk.

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