Most notably known for its brewing and sugar processing, the market town of Bury St Edmunds is also a place of history. Settled in the 600s, Bury St Edmunds is home to not only the famous Greene King Brewery but it is also home to many historic buildings and ruins.
One popular stop is the Abbey Gardens. The abbey itself was originally built in the eleventh century. Fires then damaged many of the buildings of the original abbey in the twelfth century but were rebuilt during that same century. However by the fourteenth century the townsfolk are not too happy with the abbey's power and they do a great deal of damage to the abbey. By the sixteenth century, and thanks to the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the abbey was surrendered to the Crown. The abbot's palace still survived until the early 1720s until it became a quarry for building materials. Today the ruins are all that is left of the abbey and the gardens have been maintained and opened to the public. The garden is broken up in to several areas each with unique plants and trees for visitors to enjoy. There is a sensory garden, a wildlife feeding area, and area by the river to name a few. Visitors can enjoy the serenity of the area while viewing the ruins of what was once a spectacular abbey.
While at the abbey you might want to check out the third largest parish church in England. St Mary's church is the civic church of Bury St Edmunds. Originally part of the abbey complex it remains in use to this day. Visitors will enjoy the architecture and size of this beautiful church.
Also an area of interest is the Bury St. Edmonds Art Gallery. This Art Gallery offers a wide range of exhibitions in fine arts and crafts. This gallery is located in the center of Bury St Edmonds and is one of the only public buildings in that area. This gallery's exhibitions range from avant garde to traditional work. It features not just British work but also those from around the world.
Bury St Edmunds is home to a wonderful market tradition. Every Wednesday and Saturday you can visit the Bury Market on Cornhill and get fresh fruits and vegetables. On Wednesday you can also visit the Bury Craft Market in the Corn Exchange and find some truly unique crafts. For those that are looking for antiques, books, and collectables you need to check out the Indoor Market at the Athenaeum which is held the first Sunday of every month.
One of the best things that the area is known for though is its brewer. The Green King brewery, located in Bury St. Edmunds, is the largest British-owned brewery in the United Kingdom. It is also home to smaller brewery such as Old Cannon Brewery, and Bartums Brewery. Bury is also home to Britain's smallest pub, The Nutshell.
Steeped in history and beer, Bury St Edmunds is a place with lots of culture to explore.
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