Bury St Edmunds: New book by history guide shows town through time

Local history guide Martyn Taylor with his new book 'Bury St Edmunds Through Time'.

Local history guide Martyn Taylor with his new book 'Bury St Edmunds Through Time'. - Credit: Archant

A local history guide who is passionate about Bury St Edmunds has produced a book which reveals images of well-known scenes in the town then and now.

Bury St Edmunds Through Time, by Martyn Taylor, features 93 black and white photographs, which are paired with modern day shots of the same sites, including former businesses.

Mr Taylor, who is a town guide in Bury St Edmunds and member of the Bury Society, said the book - which includes text on the images - revealed changes in the town, but also how a lot has stayed the same.

He said: “I think it will appeal to tourists and residents alike. Residents can look at this and say ‘yes, I remember that’.”

He said his favourite images in the book are of the interior of St Mary’s Church, showing the long nave and hammer beam roof leading to the east window of 1844 with the martyrdom of St Edmund in stained glass.


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Also included are images of iconic Cupola House in the Traverse before and after the major fire in June 2012 and Andys Records in St John’s Street which is now a Jaeger store.

In his introduction to the book Mr Taylor said: “While we have lost many of the iconic shops our descendants took for granted, the town does still have many individual and independent shops, something we are very proud of. However, the asset that can be rightly called the jewel in the crown of Bury St Edmunds is the glorious Abbey Gardens.”

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Mr Taylor said some of the black and white photographs used in the book were from the Spanton Jarman collection, which is looked after by the Bury St Edmunds Past and Present Society.

Bury St Edmunds Through Time, produced by Amberley Publishing, is available from both branches of Waterstones in the town, the Tourist Information Centre (TIC) on Angel Hill and the shop at St Edmundsbury Cathedral. Mr Taylor will be at the TIC on Wednesday from 3pm to 5pm for a book signing.

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