21st December 2022

Celebrating 1000 years of the Abbey of St Edmund

A year of celebrations to mark 1,000 years since the founding of the Abbey of St Edmund in Bury St Edmunds by King Cnut took place in Bury St Edmunds in 2022.

Take a look at the documentary on the Abbey 1000 celebrations made by local filmmaker Misha Panov. The video is now on youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pi0q7nIovGo and on the homepage of the Bury St Edmunds and Beyond website www.burystedmundsandbeyond.co.uk – scroll down to Bury St Edmunds TV.

Libby Ranzetta, Chair of Abbey1000

The celebrations were coordinated by Abbey 1000 C.I.C. (made up of different organisations in the town), alongside The Abbey of St Edmund Heritage Partnership. The year’s events included Abbey of St Edmund Anniversary Walking Tours, Pilgrimages from St Benet’s Abbey in Norfolk and Ely (where the original monks came from to found the Abbey of St Edmund), a free Abbey 1000 Heritage Trail, an Exhibition of Abbey Manuscripts in St Edmundsbury Cathedral’s Treasury, a BioBlitz, an Abbey 1000 Sculpture Exhibition within the Abbey Ruins, concerts, talks, a recreation of M R James talk on the Abbey where he originally gave it, a flower exhibition, a schools heritage project, community art, an exhibition on the Abbey in Moyse’s Hall Museum, and a picnic in the park.

The grand finale was the St Edmund’s Day Weekend Spectacular in which over 10,000 people watched as innovative 3D projections by The Projection Studio appeared on the historic Norman Tower and the Cathedral Tower, telling the story of the Abbey and St Edmund, with an enchanting light trail through the Abbey Ruins by students of West Suffolk College.

The celebrations were due to take place in 2020 but because of the Covid pandemic they had to be delayed two years and finally took place in 2022. Grateful thanks to The National Lottery Heritage Fund and National Lottery Players for their support of the Abbey 1000 celebrations and to West Suffolk Council and Bury St Edmunds Town Council for their funding.

A big thank you also to all the commercial sponsors including headline sponsors CLASS UK, Greene King and Treatt. The Abbey 1000 celebrations were a part of a much larger project to provide a legacy for the Abbey of St Edmund. The Abbey of St Edmund Heritage Partnership have published an overarching plan which will direct work over the next ten years. It is supported by work with English Heritage, Historic England and The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

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