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Bury St Edmunds Public Houses , Post Office Directory of 1865 & Commercial Traders

BURY ST. EDMUNDS AND NEIGHBOURHOOD in the 1830 White's Dirctory

Transcribed by Colin Ager

Bury St. Edmunds, a borough and market town, and the Metropolis of the western division of the county of Suffolk, is in the hundred of Thingoe; 72 miles N.E. by N. from London, 26 N.W. from Ipswich, 12 N. from Thetford, and 14 W. from Newmarket; seated on a gentle acclivity, on the western bank of the river Bourne, or Larke. The origin of Bury has been a fruitful field for discussion amongst antiquaries. It is believed, by some, to be the Villa Faustini, or the seat of Faustinius: by the Saxons it was called Beoderic-weord, or the villa of Beodericus, his court or farm; but the more simple and natural derivation is, that it was the seat or residence of Beoderic, who was the owner of the ground where the abbey and town were afterwards built, upon the foundation of the monastery. After some lapse of time it was called Burgh, signifying ‘a strong hold or town;’ and this name was subsequently changed into that of Bury: Beoderic bequeathed it to St. Edmund, the King and Martyr – and thus in a short time it acquired its present appellation. That Bury was a Roman station of some consequence no doubt has ever been entertained; and this opinion has received corroboration from the discovery of some ancient sculptures (now in the Abbey garden), in the spring of the year 1783, which have been pronounced to be representations of Roman Divinities. The Abbey here, when in its splendour, is supposed to have exceeded in magnificence (with the exception of that of Glastonbury) all others in England; of this ancient edifice all that now remains is the western gate, which formed the grand entrance; this venerable relique, still in a state of preservation almost prefect, was erected in the early part of the 14th century. A tower situated opposite to the west end of the abbey church, to which in ancient times it served as an appropriate portal, is considered one of the noblest specimens of what is termed Saxon architecture in the kingdom; it is 80 feet in height, of quadrangular figure, and remarkable for the grand simplicity and solidity of its construction; this tower, though 30 feet distant from St. James’s church, serves as a steeple to that edifice. The west end of the conventual church exhibits in its present state a very singular appearance: an octagonal tower is still standing, the lower part of which has been converted into a stable; three arches, once the entrance to the aisles, have been filled up with modern brickwork, and transformed into suitable portions of neat dwelling-houses. Near the North-gate are the ruins of St. Saviour’s hospital, formerly the most celebrated establishment of the kind in Bury; it was in this building that Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, commonly called ‘the good,’ and for some time Regent of England, is supposed to have been murdered, in 1446. There are also numerous other vestiges of ancient edifices, possessing considerable interest with the antiquary. The government of the town is vested in an alderman (as chief magistrate), a recorder, 12 capital burgesses, from whom the alderman is annually chosen, and 24 common councilmen; one of the capital burgesses holds the office of coroner. The corporation, who are self-elected, have the privilege of returning two members to parliament; the present members are Lord Euston Euston and Earl Jermyn; the alderman is the returning officer. Assizes are held here twice a year, and sessions quarterly, for the county; a court leet, also, is held annually, and sessions occasionally, for the borough.
Bury contains two parish churches, St. James’s and St. Mary’s; the latter is situated in Crown-street, and is a fine structure, divided into three aisles by two rows of elegant slender columns; the roof is deservedly admired for its lightness and beauty. St. James’s is a fine Gothic building – the west end, in particular, is remarkably handsome; it consists of side-aisles, a nave and chancel, and in 1820 a gallery was erected over the west entrance; it has a very good and powerful organ; and the windows present many beautiful specimens of stained glass, supposed to have originally ornamented the abbey church. Of the places of worship for dissenters, there are chapels for the independents, baptists, Unitarians, Wesleyan and primitive methodists, a quakers’ meeting-house and a Roman catholic chapel.- The other buildings, &c. of Bury are, the shire-hall, and edifice of modern erection, containing two convenient courts for the trial of criminals and civil cases; the guild-hall, where town sessions are held, the parliamentary representatives of the corporation elected, and the general business of the borough transacted. The new gaol, erected in 1803, at an expense of 30,000, and calculated to hold 140 prisoners, sleeping separate, stands nearly a mile from the centre of town, on the London road, and is adorned with a handsome stone front. The borough bridewell stands in the Market-place, and from its circular windows is evidently a very ancient fabric. The theatre, a neat building, in the southern part of the town, was opened for dramatic performances in the month of October, 1819. The subscription-rooms, a building completed in a very elegant style, in the year 1804, at an expense of nearly 5,000, occupies the south side of Angel-hill; it contains ball, billiard, coffee, supper, reading and card rooms. The Suffolk public library, in Abbey-gate-street, has about 170 subscribers, and contains many valuable books. The botanic garden adjoins the church-yard; it has become a valuable acquisition to this branch of scientific study, as well as an agreeable and favourite promenade. There are two weekly newspapers here, both published on Wednesday, viz. the ‘Bury Post,’ and the ‘Bury and Suffolk Herald.’ Amongst the charitable institutions of this town are, ‘the Suffolk general hospital’ a handsome building, erected in a healthy situation, and supported by voluntary contributions; there is also another institution, designated ‘Clopton’s hospital,’ a neat brick edifice, founded and endowed in 1730, as an asylum for twelve poor men and women, widowers and widows. For scholastic instruction, Bury has a free grammar-school, founded by Edward VI. for the sons of all inhabitants; there are at present nearly 100 scholars on the foundation, and the number of private pupils is considerable. There are also three charity-schools – one for 40 boys, and the others for 50 girls; and a school on the Lancasterian system was opened in College-street, in 1811, and about 200 boys admitted. The market-days at Bury are Wednesday and Saturday; the former, which is the more considerable one, is for corn; but both are abundantly supplied with provisions of all sorts. There are three fairs annually held, viz. on the Tuesday and the two following days in Easter week, the 2nd of October, and the 1st of December; the fair in October is the principal one, and continues about three weeks. The population of Bury, by the parliamentary returns of 1821, consisted of 4,579 males, and 5,420 females, total 9,999 inhabitants.

And Last updated on: Thursday, 15-Dec-2022 23:54:29 GMT