Abbey 1000

May 1, 2020
St Edmundsbury Cathedral

The Abbey 1000 Group continue to follow government advice closely. At this stage we expect disruption to events in April, May and June, but we continue to work with partner organisations and we plan to offer a full programme of events from the summer onwards or when it is deemed safe for everyone. We aim to ensure that Suffolk can celebrate this momentous Millennium since the Abbey of St Edmund was founded.



Further information about events across the town can be found here

A feast for the senses awaits at St Edmundsbury Cathedral, Bury St Edmunds, in this special anniversary year. From the soaring notes of world-renowned musicians, the rich illumination of ancient manuscripts to the echoes of pilgrims footsteps reverberating on the ancient stones, a full programme of events offers a treat for all as part of the town-wide celebration to mark the 1000th anniversary of the founding of the Abbey of St Edmund.


The former King of East Anglia, Saint Edmund, and first Patron Saint of England was murdered by the Vikings in AD 869. Later his body was brought to the town which now bears his name and a Benedictine Abbey was founded by King Canute in 1020 to house the shrine of the martyred King. The shrine brought visits from across the UK and abroad as the Abbey became one of the most famous and wealthy pilgrimage locations in England.


The Abbey was destroyed during the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539. Edmund’s bejeweled shrine was plundered but Edmund’s body was missing. His whereabouts are still a mystery.


Today, the Abbey remains are extensive and are surrounded by the beautiful Abbey Gardens, an award-winning 14-acre park, and visited by millions of people from all over the world.