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About St Edmundsbury Cathedral

For over 1,000 years, the site of Suffolk ’s Cathedral has been one of worship and pilgrimage.

The death of Edmund, King of the East Angles, at the hands of the Danes in 869 led to the building of an abbey to house his remains. St James’s Church was built within the precincts of the Abbey, becoming a Cathedral in 1914.

The Cathedral building has continued to develop over recent years with the addition of the Millennium Tower, completed in 2005, and its magnificent painted and gilded vault, added in 2010. .

The Cathedral is open to visitors between 8.30am and 6pm every day throughout the year.  Regular Guided Tours of the Cathedral run from May to September at 11am daily (except Sundays). Occasionally a tour may have to be cancelled if another event is taking place in the Cathedral. If you are travelling some distance, please do ring the Cathedral office to check. These tours last approx 1 hour and cost £3 per person (under 16s free). Tickets available from the Tourist Information Point next to the Cathedral Shop.

Visitors are welcome to look around the Cathedral on their own. Entry is free but we suggest a donation of £3.00 per adult and 50p per child. A free introductory leaflet is available in English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, and Polish. Visitors are most welcome to attend any of the daily services.

Tower tours generally run from May to October but please check our website for details.

The Ancient Library

The Ancient Library was founded by Dr Miles Mosse in 1595 as a resource for clergy training. 

There are over 550 books, mainly printed in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.  The library, in a room over the north-west porch designed by Stephen Dykes Bower in 1960, has bookcases made by Leonard Goff in 2004.

If you would like to visit the library, please contact the librarian through the Cathedral Office on or 01284 748730. 


The Crypt Treasury is open Monday to Saturday 10.00 am to 4.00 pm and Sunday 12.30 pm to 3.00 pm. 

Stained glass

Most of the stained glass in the Cathedral is Victorian, by the firm of Clayton and Bell. The windows in the North Nave Aisle depict stories from the Old Testament and those in the South Nave Aisle the New Testament. Elsewhere, there is glass by C E Kempe and Hardman. One window has much older glass, possibly French or Flemish, which tells the story of ‘Susanna and the Elders’ from the Apocrypha.

A guidebook to the glass is available from the Cathedral Shop priced £3.50.

St Edmund by Dame Elisabeth Frink

In 869, Edmund, King of the East Angles, met his death at the hands of the Danes. He was tied to a tree and shot with arrows. Legend says that his severed head was thrown into the woods and found being guarded by a wolf. Around 900, Edmund’s body was brought to Bedericesworth (Bury St Edmunds) and subsequently housed in a shrine in what developed into a great Benedictine Abbey. Edmund was the patron saint of England, until St George replaced him. His feast day is 20 November.

In 2009 the Cathedral changed its dedication to become the Cathedral Church of St James and St Edmund.

Lego Cathedral

St Edmundsbury Cathedral has launched an ambitious project to recreate the Cathedral out of 200,000 LEGO bricks! 

Visitors will be able to see the Lego Cathedral being building before their eyes and donate a brick to be part of this amazing project.

The Lego Cathedral is located in the South West corner of St Edmundsbury Cathedral and open Monday to Saturday 10.30am to 4.30pm and Sunday 12.30pm to 2.30pm.

From time to time the Lego Cathedral is closed to allow for services and special events to take place in the Cathedral. Please contact us in advance if you are planning to travel a distance to visit on or 01284 748730. 

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