'Iconic' wolf sculpture lit up at entrance to historic town

David Irvine, co-ordinator of Bury in Bloom next to the wolf sculpture on the roundabout in Bury St

David Irvine, co-ordinator of Bury in Bloom, next to the wolf sculpture on the Southagate Green roundabout in Bury St Edmunds - Credit: Archant

A sculpture of a wolf that is an important part of Bury St Edmunds history is now lit up from sunset each night.

The two-metre high wolf by chainsaw sculptor Ben Loughrill is on the Southgate Green roundabout at the southern entrance into the town and depicts the animal guarding St Edmund's head beside his battered crown.

The Bury in Bloom organisation is behind the roundabout project, near Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club.

David Irvine, co-ordinator of Bury in Bloom next to the wolf sculpture on the roundabout in Bury St

The wolf sculpture on the Southgate Green roundabout in Bury St Edmunds is all lit up - Credit: Archant

David Irvine, co-ordinator of Bury in Bloom, said: "We are really happy to have finally achieved our goal of lighting the iconic wolf sculpture that is an important part of the history of Bury St Edmunds.

"We wanted the wolf to be seen at this entrance to the town, especially this year as the Abbey 1000 celebrations take place, having been postponed in 2020."

Last year marked 1,000 years since the founding of the Abbey of St Edmund in Bury St Edmunds by King Canute. 

But because of the Covid-19 pandemic, many of the events organised for 2020 have been moved to 2021. 

The wolf is a central figure in the legend surrounding the death of King Edmund who ruled East Anglia from AD 855 to 869 and was made a saint after refusing to denounce his Christian faith during the Danish invasion.

The legend goes that after being killed with arrows and decapitated in Suffolk, the king's body was found but his head was missing. Supporters heard the wolf call them and they found him guarding the king's head, which was then reunited with his body.

A sculpture of a wolf guarding St Edmund’s crown has just been lifted onto the Southgate Green R

The sculpture of a wolf guarding St Edmund’s crown being lifted into place on the Southgate Green roundabout, Bury St Edmunds, in 2013 - Credit: Archant

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The wolf sculpture is part of a Bury in Bloom series of sculptures that tell the history of the town, with one for the Northgate Street/Tayfen Road roundabout in the pipeline.

Suffolk Highways engineers made the final connections for the lights on the Southgate Green roundabout on Wednesday, January 13, after "months of frustration and delay," Mr Irvine said.

These high-specification lights at the wolf sculpture replace previous lights that failed.

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