The Abbey area is three times the size of the Abbey Gardens. The Abbey of St Edmund Heritage Partnership brings together numerous local and regional organisations to care for the Abbey and explain its heritage.

The draft Overarching Plan will direct our work over the next ten years, putting a wide range of ideas into a simple structure. putting a wide range of ideas into a simple structure. The plan is informed by the Heritage Assessment (2018), the Conservation Plan (2018) and the ‘Past, Present and Future’ Conference (2019) and will build on the Millennium Celebrations of the Abbey in 2020 and 2021. It is supported by further work with English Heritage, Historic England and the Heritage Fund.

The key themes

There are many important potential projects identified by the Heritage Partnership which we have fitted into five key themes:

  • Inspiration: This key theme includes spirit of place, spirituality and well-being.  It plays a vital part in our mission to encourage people to experience the international significance of St Edmund and the historic Abbey.  It is also important in understanding the origins and development of Bury St Edmunds and its people.
  • Conservation: This theme includes the repair and maintenance of the historic fabric.  The physical remains of the Abbey are continually crumbling as a result of erosion caused by weather and visitors.  Excellent heritage conservation must be a priority if we are to hand on the ruins in good condition to future generations.
  • Connection: This key theme includes accessibility and connections with surrounding areas. Ever since the Dissolution of the Abbey, the various areas have been seen in a different way by the different landowners and organisations involved – our aim is to connect this up and create a united way of thinking.
  • Learning: The Learning key theme includes heritage experience, research, education and information.  It joins up the various elements that will enable visitors to understand the significance of the Abbey and all that it represents.  We want to help people experience the past in the context of modern life.
  •  Engagement: This includes volunteering and local community involvement.  It will be fundamental in ensuring that the work of the Heritage Partnership can continue into the future.  We want to foster the growth of a resilient voluntary charity that will sustain the jewel in the heritage crown of Bury St Edmunds for everyone.

Our future work will carefully develop the Overarching Plan into more specific plans and projects. This will include how we fund and deliver the projects over the next ten years.

Download our Overarching Plan here.