St Mary’s Church, Bury St Edmunds
The third largest parish church in England, St Mary’s gives the cathedral a run for its money, spectacular for its size with lovely carved angels.
It was here that the favourite sister of Henry VIII, Mary Tudor was buried (though the church is actually named after Mary, the Mother of Jesus). Her tomb is in the sanctuary directly to the north of the high altar.
It was part of the abbey complex, originally one of three large churches in the town (the others being St James, now St Edmundsbury Cathedral, and St Margaret’s, now gone).
The present church is the second building to stand on the site, the first being built in the 12th century. Nothing, however, survives of the Norman church, the oldest part being the decorated chancel (c. 1290).
There was a major renovation between the 14th and 16th centuries and it is at this point that the nave, its aisles and the tower were built. It was during this time that Mary Tudor was brought to her tomb at the church.
- Honey Hill
Bury St Edmunds