Lose your head in Bury’s cultural offering
Steeped in history dating back to the Bronze Age, west Suffolk market town Bury St Edmunds also benefits from a sophisticated cultural scene and a great sense of civic pride, with nearly every major roundabout heading into town features a unique piece of contemporary art, depicting key moments in the town’s history (pictured).
Bury St Edmunds took its name from a former King of East Anglia who, after refusing to give up his Christian faith in 869 to a bunch of invading Danes, was tied to a tree, shot full of arrows and finally beheaded. Edmund’s head went missing until it was discovered being looked over by a wolf. When reunited with his body, the two parts miraculously reattached and a new saint was born. St Edmund was the original patron saint of England and remains the heavenly protector of wolves, torture victims and perhaps more contemporarily, pandemics. In 2020, the Abbey of St Edmunds celebrated its 1,000th birthday.
Culturally, Bury is home to the nation’s sole surviving Regency theatre, the Theatre Royal, as well as a state-of-the-art arts centre, The Apex, and Moyse’s Hall Museum with its remarkable artefacts, including real-life wands.
The town’s self-titled annual festival takes place in May and features a 10-day programme of music, dance, drama, film and literature.
Bury also hosts an annual Sci-Fi festival every October, which features screen props and replicas, original artwork and much more from the likes of Star Wars, Doctor Who, Marvel and DC.