Award-winning podcast tells story of Suffolk abbey's 1,000 years

The statue of St Edmund in Bury St Edmunds

The statue of St Edmund in Bury St Edmunds - Credit: Andy Abbott

The 1,000th anniversary of the founding of the Abbey of St Edmund in Bury St Edmunds is being featured by an award-winning podcast network.

History Hit is telling the story of the abbey - founded by King Canute - in a new episode of its Gone Medieval podcast in which host Dr Cat Jarman explores the town and its landmarks with archaeologist Adrian Tindall, chair of the Bury St Edmunds Association of Registered Tour Guides. 

The main focus is on what was one of the richest and largest Benedictine monasteries in England when people came from all over England and Europe to visit the Shrine of St Edmund, and the 1,000th-anniversary celebrations taking place this year.

Abbey 1000 sponsors Bury St Edmunds

Representatives from local companies who have sponsored the Abbey 1000 celebrations with ‘Faith and Hope’, a sculpture by artist John Williams which will appear in the Abbey 1000 Sculpture Exhibition in 2022 - Credit: Phil Morley

Meanwhile, it has been announced that more than 20 local companies have agreed to be sponsors of the Abbey 1000 celebrations - with £60,000-plus of sponsorship and in-kind contributions raised from commercial companies.

The celebrations will be funded by the generous sponsorship, together with a Heritage Grant of £99,200 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund plus support of £50,000 from Bury St Edmunds Town Council and £31,000 from West Suffolk Council.

Libby Ranzetta, chair of the Abbey 1000 CIC, which is coordinating the programme of events said: “Thanks to the generosity of so many local businesses and organisations we have an exciting and engaging programme of events to celebrate a thousand years of the Abbey, with something for everyone to enjoy.

"We are grateful to all our sponsors for their support and look forward to a wonderful few months ahead as residents and visitors alike come together to enjoy Bury's fantastic heritage in this special year for us.”

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Key highlights of the year are an exhibition on the Abbey at Moyse’s Hall Museum, an exhibition of manuscripts from the Abbey at St Edmundsbury Cathedral, a town centre Heritage Trail, a sculpture exhibition, travelling exhibition, special anniversary tours, a concert by Suffolk Philharmonic Orchestra, pilgrimages and a community day in the Abbey Gardens. To end the celebrations, there will be a Spectacle of Light in the Abbey Gardens over St Edmund’s Day weekend.