Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

St. Marys Church (Bury St. Edmunds)

St. Marys is the parish church of the splendid old town, now a cathedral city, of Bury St. Edmunds in Suffolk.

Both St. Marys and St. James a short way along the street were originally in the shadow of the magnificent Abbey. St. James, however, is now Bury St. Edmunds Cathedral.

St. Marys has a very large nave, with outstanding arcading.

The hammerbeam roof contains eleven pairs of angels, as well as saints, martyrs, prophets and kings. It covers the longest parish church aisle in England.

Above the chancel arch is a window showing the martyrdom of St. Edmund.

In the South aisle is the cadaver tomb of John Baret, a local merchant of the 15th century, who had it made during his lifetime so that he could be reminded of his mortality.

The Suffolk Regiment Chapel contains the Birkenhead Memorial, commemorating the soldiers who drowned off the coast of South Africa in 1852. The men's brave actions led to the phrase "women and children first".

Also in St. Marys is the tomb of Mary Tudor. She was the sister of Henry VIII, who had a politically-inspired marriage to Louis XII of France, and when he died married her first love, becoming the Duchess of Suffolk. She was the grandmother of Lady Jane Grey of Bradgate, near Leicester, who was Queen for nine days.

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