Holidays in Bury St Edmunds Suffolk

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Bury St Edmunds The most attractive of Suffolk's large towns, and its most important religious centre is Bury St Edmunds, and is a perfect place to base yourself for a tour of the county with lots of holiday cottages and houses to rent in Bury St Edmunds and the surrounding delightful Suffolk villages. The town grew up around the medieval abbey that housed the remains of King Edmund the Martyr, and was a popular place of pilgrimage until the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII in 1536. Although a ruin, the abbey is still pretty spectacular, as is its garden. Looking at the best preserved buildings you have some idea of how impressive the whole edifice must have been, and some of the ruins have been restored and turned into houses. The streets of the town still follow the design laid down by the monks 800 years ago, and there are guided tours every day between Easter and September, also there are tours of the Greene King Brewery, which is not far from the Manor House Museum, a magnificent collection of clocks and other artifacts. It is worth visiting this place around noon, when all the clocks strike.

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Just to the south of Bury, is the splendidly eccentric Ickworth House, built by the fourth Earl of Bristol, Frederick Hervey. This family had such a reputation that it was said that 'when God created the human race he made men, women, and Herveys'. Ickworth is an amazing structure, with an immense central oval rotunda, and contains a fine collection of silver, furniture, and paintings by Titian, Gainsborough, and Velasquez. The park was designed by Capability Brown, and there are well marked paths and trails through the estate and gardens.