New look Cupola House set to reopen
By Dave GooderhamA LANDMARK with a rich and fascinating history is preparing to open its doors to the public once again.Almost a year since it closed, the Cupola House in Bury St Edmunds is set to open as a bar and restaurant after a £900,000 investment in the 17th Century building.
By Dave Gooderham
A LANDMARK with a rich and fascinating history is preparing to open its doors to the public once again.
Almost a year since it closed, the Cupola House in Bury St Edmunds is set to open as a bar and restaurant after a £900,000 investment in the 17th Century building.
To celebrate the grand opening planned for the end of the month, a leading light in late Stuart and Georgian history has began researching the varied history of the building.
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Dr Pat Murrell was contacted by the current owners of the Cupola and asked to produce a historical pamphlet in conjunction with the re-opening.
She said: "I have looked at late Georgian history in Suffolk for a long while and I became interested in the Macro family who used to lived in the Cupola.
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"A few years ago I was shown some of the family's letters which talked about some of the gossip in the town.
"It also related to national events in the early 18th Century so it was interesting on both a local and national level."
Asked why the building had always fascinated people, Dr Murrell said: "Even when Cupola House was on the at-risk register, it was always a prominent building in the town and the people who have lived or owned the building bring it to life."
The Traverse pub was taken off the English Heritage's Buildings at Risk register after an extensive programme of privately financed repairs, renovation and refurbishment.
Owner Paul Romanie said they hoped to reopen around October 28 and added: "Dr Murrell is one of the leading people on the subject of this period. She is very well known and well regarded.
"As far as we aware, there has never been anything fully published about the Cupola and nothing updated.
"What Dr Murrell is working on is something we can put in print as there are so many people who are interested in the building."
Mr Romaine said they hoped to open the bar and restaurant by the end of the month .
"We will be bringing a well known building in the town back into use for the people of Bury St Edmunds and the visitors to the town," he said.
"It will be something new for Bury St Edmunds and will hopefully complement the town and we hope it will be well received."
Dr Murrell, who lives in the town, said the Cupola was originally associated with the wines and spirits trade from the late 18th century.
She said: "The property was built in the late 17th century as a private dwelling incorporating a large shop on the ground floor.
"This was for the prosperous Macro family who were apothecaries and members of the town's select governing body, the corporation."
Dr Murrell, who researched and wrote a similar pamphlet for The Fox pub in Bury, is also giving two lectures on the history of the Cupola.
These will be held on October 22 and 29 at the Manor House Museum and further details and bookings are available from the Manor House on 01284 757076 or Moyse's Hall on 01284 706183.