Some pictures of the history present in Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk.
The gate was part of the structure first built in 623. It was burnt down during a peasant’s revolt in 1327 and rebuilt in 1347 - the sign says that pretty much.
The gate leads to the old Abbey of St. Edmund, which lies pretty much in ruins to this day. Sadly I didn’t take any pictures of the ruins because the gate held my main interest.
On the outside of the gate, towards the top you can see two stars of David - a symbol well known as part of Judaism.
Why the gate captured my interest is because of it’s beauty and history, as well as the fact it’s been standing almost 700 years.
It has also witnessed some atrocities in it’s time too. Many Jews had taken this place lawfully as a place of study and learning, in which to practice their religion freely too.
The Jewish communities of Bungay and Thetford had been established almost certainly before start of the reign of Henry II in 1154. The Abbey of St Edmund fell deeply into debt to the Jewish community, during the rule of Abbot Hugh. Due to official borrowing by the Abbot and unofficial borrowing by the sacristan and the cellarer. The Jewry in Bury St Edmund’s was officially established circa 1174. Jews largely come from Bungay and Thetford, after Henry II effectively removed their protection under Hugh de Bigod.
In 1181 Abbot Samson suceeded Abbot Hugh. The Jewish community interfered in the election, backing the failed bid by the sacristan to become Abbot. Samson deposed the sacristan on his election and reduces the debt to the Jewish community.
On Palm Sunday, 18th March, 1190, 57 Jews were slaughtered. Subsequently, the rest of the town’s Jews are expelled by the Abbot, right through this very gate it’s said.
So, here are we have a significant piece of history.