max temp: 7°C

min temp: 4°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Bury St Edmunds: Historian makes musical discovery at Market Cross building

12:00 10 December 2012

Historian Rob Lansman has made an interesting discovery at the Market Cross building in Bury St Edmunds

Historian Rob Lansman has made an interesting discovery at the Market Cross building in Bury St Edmunds

Rob Lansman

A HISTORIAN has made what he described as an “exciting” discovery when he investigated musical notes carved in stone at a building in Bury St Edmunds.


Rob Lansman believes the Market Cross building in the town centre probably reveals the oldest ‘written in stone’ musical notation of the British national anthem.

While researching his new book on public art in the town, he took a closer look at one of four panels, or reliefs, which shows the horned Greek god Pan with what looked like a page of sheet music.

After taking a photograph of it, he enlarged the image and rotated it 90 degrees, revealing musical notes.

“It took a bit of guessing, but eventually ‘that’s it’. If you sing it you come across eight bars of the national anthem. It’s not the whole anthem, it’s the second bit from ‘send him victorious’.”

Mr Lansman, who is a member of the Bury Society, said the anthem first appeared in print, with words and music, in 1745 in the Gentleman’s Magazine and the first performance is thought to have been in the same year.

The Market Cross was built between 1774 and 1780 - including the creation of the panels - with the first floor becoming a playhouse.

Mr Lansman said the appearance, 30 years later, of part of the sheet music on the building fitted well into the chronology of the national anthem and its association with the world of theatre. He said the anthem always used to be sung in theatres.

“Since there is no other reference in the country of the National Anthem in this way - put on a building - I think this is the oldest example, and that’s quite exciting I think.”

There are four carved panels at the Market Cross showing masks surrounded by musical instruments, a key and weapons.

The one Mr Lansman refers to is on the right-hand side facing the market, but there are faint traces of a similar musical notation on a ‘sister’ panel at the back.

If anyone knows of an older or similar example in the country of a stone carving of the national anthem email Mr Lansman at



The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne delivers his joint Autumn Statement and Spending Review. Photo: PA Wire

Chancellor George Osborne said councils could put up council tax bills by an extra 2% if the increase was reserved to cover social care costs as he delivered his Autumn Statement today..

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne delivers his joint Autumn Statement and Spending Review to MPs in the House of Commons, London. PA Wire

Families receiving tax credits and bobbies on the beat were given a reprieve as the chancellor moved to quieten his critics with an unexpected cuts U-turn.

Two people were taken to Colchester General Hospital for further treatment

An elderly man had to be freed from his vehicle by fire crews in Wix, near Manningtree, this evening after a collision on the A120.

Don't leave it til the day before, start preparing your Christmas treats now

Does the mention of Christmas bring you out in a cold sweat? All that shopping, cooking and cleaning.

Ipswich council leader David Ellesmere at the former sugar beet factory site off Sproughton Road.

A new Enterprize Zone involving 10 development sites across East Anglia, with the potential to create 18,500 jobs, was announced by Chancellor George Osborne today.

Nick Alston, Essex Police and Crime Commissioner, pictured with Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh. Picture: Su Anderson.

Police chiefs in Essex gave a cautious welcome yesterday to the Chancellor’s announcement there would be no further cuts to policing.

Police at the scene of the robbery

Two men have been arrested in connection with a robbery at a One Stop convenience store in Claydon, Suffolk, on Sunday.

Police enforced a cordon at around 3pm

Two suspected unexploded mortars and ammunition, found in a building site in Colchester, saw a 100m cordon enforced in Mersea Road afternoon.

Police joined forces with partner agencies for the operation

People were arrested and vehicles seized in a series of police checks carried around in Ipswich and Thetford this week.

A barge on the River Gipping at Bramford around 1895. The road bridge and St Mary’s Church are on the left.

Beautiful countryside, with pleasant walks, fishing and picnic areas are how most now see the area around the River Gipping.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Digital Edition

Read the East Anglian Daily Times e-edition today E-edition

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24