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While You're Away ... We are Preparing for Your Return

You may not be able to visit Bury St Edmunds and Beyond right now but our wonderful attractions are preparing for your eventual return.

We discover what attractions have been up (at a social distance) while you have been away!


Bury St Edmunds Guildhall

At Bury St Edmunds Guildhall they have been using the time to delve into some mystery boxes which have been donated to The Guildhall full of interesting mementos from days gone by!

Dating back to 1279, Bury St Edmunds Guildhall is the oldest continuously-used civic building in Britain and proudly boasts a World War II Royal Observer Corps Control Centre – the only surviving room of its kind in the country. 

Their 1st archive box was crammed full of fascinating  Royal Observer Corps publications. They date from 1941-1979 and are full of insights into war and peacetime aircraft. 

Volunteers are reading these cover to cover to prepare for a new brilliant project they are working on to celebrate the Royal Observer Corps when The Guildhall reopens!

Follow Bury St Edmunds Guildhall on facebook https://www.facebook.com/BuryStEdmundsGuildhall/twitter https://twitter.com/GuildhallBSE and instagram https://www.instagram.com/guildhall_burystedmunds/


Moyse's Hall Museum

The team at Moyse's Hall Museum are busy preparing an exhibition at the museum dedicated to their Mary Beale collection. 

Mary Beale, one of the most successful professional female Baroque-era portrait painters of the late 17th century, lived in Barrow near Bury St Edmunds.

On the other side of the galaxy, or rather the museum, work continues on creating new displays for the Museum's Sci-Fi Exhibition later in the year.

Meanwhile, they are keeping children and parents alike entertained through the museum's facebook page with fun family activities to try and a fantastic competition to celebrate their new Terry Deary (Horrible Histories author) Terrible Tales exhibits. The competition will be judged by Terry Deary himself.  

Follow Moyse's Hall Museum on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/moyseshall/


Abbeygate Cinema

Devastated to close their doors to the public last month, the Abbeygate Cinema is never quiet for long.  Over the last few weeks they’ve had carpenters, electricians, carpet and seat installers all taking their turns to continue their new auditorium fit out.  

Their tailor-made screen frame is now in, and over the coming weeks their state-of-the-art 4K Laser Projection system will be installed.

The cinema is going further than originally intended with the new auditorium. Their initial plan was to open it in Spring in a 'bare bones' "Pop Up" format to temporarily run some fund-raising screenings launching with the new James Bond film. But in the circumstances, they are pushing on with the work so the auditorium will be as close to finished as possible when the cinema re-opens to the public. 

They will then have three screens open to show all the films that have been delayed due to the pandemic! 


Abbey Gardens


A team of gardeners are working hard to keep the Abbey Gardens in tip top shape ready for when we can invite visitors back to the town (although the park is open for those who live nearby to get their daily exercise).

The team have been busy planting, watering and maintaining the gardens so that they remain at their stunning best!

They are also sharing daily family friendly activities, such as how to make a bird feeder, nature bingo, bee hotels, and much more on their social media to keep people isolating at home looking after nature in their own gardens!

Follow the Abbey Gardens on facebook https://www.facebook.com/AbbeyGardensBuryStEdmunds/


Bury St Edmunds Tour Guides

During the lockdown, the Bury St Edmunds Tour Guides are keeping themselves tour-ready through discussion forums, carrying out research on topics and taking part in online tour guide quizzes! 

There are also plans to introduce a regular quiz through social media – watch this space!

Connect with them on social media on facebook https://www.facebook.com/burystedmundstourguides/ Instagram https://www.instagram.com/burystedmundstourguides/ and twitter https://twitter.com/BuryTourGuides


West Stow Anglo Saxon Village

The team at West Stow have been continuing the research and planning activities for when they reopen to the public and finally be able to celebrate the site's 1,600th anniversary!

They have been involved in facial reconstruction projects and uncovering more information about the people that once lived in the settlement. Work also continues with the lottery funded Heritage River Crafts- Living on the Edge. This exciting development includes clearing the view from the reconstructed houses to the edge of the river Lark. By careful woodland management visitors will be able to see the waters edge from the houses. 

Rewilding continues with a further 150 trees planted as part of the ‘into the wild’ element of the Heritage Lottery Fund grant. This is a selection of more ancient woodland to match the historical nature of the site. 

The team have also been creating online videos (including the one above on how to make Anglo Saxon Hearth Cakes), worksheets, family quizzes, and much more for children and adults alike. The Anglo-Saxon heart cake making video reached over 33,000 people in the first few days! 

Follow West Stow Anglo Saxon Village on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/weststow/


Kentwell Hall


The owners of Kentwell Hall in Long Melford see their beautiful Tudor house as “the longest on-going DIY project”. Kentwell is not only a stunning period house, but it is also a lived-in and much-loved family home with its story beginning over 500 years ago.

Owner Judith Phillips doesn’t let a little thing like the current crisis get her down and so she has been tending Kentwell’s gardens, usually lovingly looked after by a team of gardeners and volunteers.

Now known as JPS “Judith’s Potting Shed” she has been busy planting for the season ahead; including sweet peas, courgettes, squash, cabbages, tomatoes broccoli, celeriac, which would all have been used in the tea rooms, and flowers for the gardens; cosmos, nasturtiums and sunflowers.

Joanne, Kentwell’s Shepherdess, has overseen the lambing of Kentwell’s rare breed Norfolk Horn Sheep with the last few lambs expected over the next couple of days. 

Follow Kentwell Hall on facebook https://www.facebook.com/KentwellHall/


The Apex

At The Apex the team have been working very hard behind the scenes to credit the accounts of customers and reorganise events that have had to be postponed or cancelled.

They will be launching a campaign to celebrate key workers very soon (watch this space)! 

Follow The Apex on facebook https://www.facebook.com/theapexofficial/ twitter https://twitter.com/TheApexVenue and instagram https://www.instagram.com/theapexvenue/