15th August 2022

27 mini monks installed in Abbey Ruins

Bury St Edmunds based ceramic artist Deborah Pipe has made 27 ceramic figures, which have been temporarily installed in the 12th century stone ‘ Dovecote’. The ‘Dovecote’ is a local name for part of the Abbey ruins within the Abbey Gardens in Bury St Edmunds, it is actually a corner tower of the old Abbot’s garden.

The unique mini figures depict the life of monks in the Benedictine Abbey as featured in the new Mini Monks I-Spy competition trail to find the sculptures hidden in the walls of the Dovecote; the latest Abbey 1000 CIC project.

Stonemason Jonathan Presley has carefully inserted the mini monks into spaces in the Dovecote walls using a specially prepared lime mortar.

A free mini monks I-Spy competition leaflet is available from the tourist information point at St Edmundsbury Cathedral shop and The Apex and can also be downloaded at www.abbeyofstedmund1000.co.uk. It features some interesting facts about the monks and the Abbey of St Edmund, which celebrates its 1000th anniversary this year.

Melanie Lesser, from the Abbey 1000 CIC committee, said: “We are really delighted with Deborah’s mini monks as they give families a fun way of learning about the lives and different roles of the medieval monks in our historic Abbey”.

The project has been funded by Bury St Edmunds Town Council and Suffolk County councillors’ locality budgets and The Bury Society. Historic England and English Heritage have kindly given permission for the sculptures to remain in the walls of the Abbey until November this year.

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