The Village Fete
Throughout the summer English Villages hold Fetes many of which are still very traditional.
I grew up in the village of Horringer,just south West of Bury St Edmunds, and often took part in the village fete either doing Maypole or country dancing, or entering arts and crafts in the Flower show. I know arts and crafts doesn't sound like it fits with flowers - but it does!!
It is an annual event where the local community get together, have fun (especially if there is a beer tent!) and usually raise money for charity.
Look out for advertisements for fetes - and go along - I'm sure you'll have fun!
Pigeon House in the ruins
In the gardens of the abbey the best preserved ruin is this 'Pigeon House'.... I think this used to actually be the Abbot's own house but the pigeons seemed to like it and they tended to concregate on top of it.
Shrine of the King, Cradle of the Law
"Bury St. Edmunds? St. Edmund's bury? WTF?"
Bury St. Edmunds is not an imperative as the Saint we are talking about is called Edmund without the '-s'. Furthermore, to bury St. Edmund, he needs to be dead, but that prerequisite is met as the Danes did their work very well and you usually have to be dead to be a Saint (and buried). But Bury St. Edmunds has nothing to do with the burial place of St. Edmund. Well, indeed it has. St. Edmund was buried here after his martyrdom. But the name does not. Bury St. Edmunds was called St. Edmund's Borough in former times, but that name evolved into St. Edmund's Bury and somehow into Bury St. Edmunds while the borough it sits in is called St. Edmundsbury. And did I mention that St. Edmund was not only a Saint but also a King? Never mind...
OK, here is a somewhat lighter entry. Bury St. Edmunds was once called Beodricsworth (in addition to the names mentioned above) and was an important Saxon settlement. It is sometimes even said that it was built on an ancient Roman town but this has not yet been proved .In 633, a monastery was founded which eventually became the burial place of St. Edmund (an English King, martyr and Saint) who was killed by the Danes in 869 and reburied here in 903. The abbey became a centre of pilgrimage and the fourth largest monastery in Europe. Life in medieval Bury St. Edmunds was centred around the abbey. However, there were always tensions between the local folks and the abbey which once even resulted in the destruction of a gatehouse and the theft of a large bronze door. The dissolution of the monasteries put an end to it and today, Bury has other important economic factors: Beer and tourism (which means, a modern form of pilgrimage): The new cathedral (former St. James Pariush church), the abbey ruins and the Greene King brewery attract thousands of visitors every year. And speaking of beer: Bury St. Edmunds has one of the largest pub densities in Britain. With a population of only around 36 000, it had over 300 pubs at the beginning of the 20th century. Today, there are far less (only every 9th survived), but the number of them is still impressive for a town of its size.
And if you are still confused, maybe by the title of this page, just read my tips :)
Like the Fawlty towers
I have just stayed on this place over night, but it was a special experience. This genuine hotel was really located in the middle of nowhere. Me and my co-worker had booked a single room each. Or maybe booked is the wrong word to use, participated in a lottery is maybe better. For £55 each we had got two single rooms, and I won the room lottery. My room was one of the largest hotel rooms I have seen so far, it even had a separate TV room. My co-worker though, he didn't even get a room inside the main hotel building. Instead he had to walk over the car-park, and climb up the fire ladder, there he had his room, small cold and without anything else than a bed.
They also said that this house was haunted by ghosts... I didn't notice, I was sleeping good all the night. But I don't think I left the window open, as it was when I woke up in the morning.
I also wonder how British people have got the idea to have a soft carpet in the bath room... with only a bathtub, with two separate taps, no shower, it's a bit complicated to freshen up in the morning without taking a bath... but I managed anyway... well, the soft carpet wasn't that dry after, but well...