Next time you take a stroll around the glorious market town of Bury St Edmunds, look out for these peculiarities, embedded in the brickwork.
The Ceramic Doll
Hidden amongst the flint and mortar of the north wall of St Edmundsbury’s abbey is a curious doll. It was discovered in 1984 after English Heritage took over the site; as workmen cleaned the north precinct wall, they came across the ceramic statuette, approximately 5 inches high, set back in an arched niche.
Balloon in a Wall
Amongst the knapped flint of No.1 Westgate Street you will find a small drawing of a balloon, shielded behind glass – most unusual!
The building has all sorts of embellishments and building styles on it, including, under the eaves of the gable end, “waste not want not” written in stone, with a pair of masonic dividers, also in stone.
A Face in Torment
Another puzzling piece, embedded this time in the flint wall of a barn at No. 52 Abbeygate Street. The grimacing face is carved into stone at the rear of the main, Grade II listed building, which is now the Cote Brasserie.
Stay near Bury St Edmunds today: Jermyn Cottage is a sweet, countryside escape in nearby Rushbrooke, sleeping 2 (one well behave dog welcome!). Families of 4 will enjoy the rural retreat that is The Ryes, 7 miles away in Lawshall. Slightly further field near Stanton is Oak Lodge, a fantastically stylish property for 2.
Information sourced from ‘Secret Bury St Edmunds’ by Martin Taylor