eXplore… The Abbey Gardens

The Abbey Gardens Bury St Edmunds

The Abbey Gardens of Bury St Edmunds is a 14-acre site located in the heart of the town. It was once home to the Benedictine Abbey, one of the richest and largest monasteries in England. Today, it is an award-winning park that offers visitors a variety of activities and attractions.

The gardens are home to a range of different plants and trees, as well as plenty of wildlife. Visitors can explore the ruins of the abbey, take part in family fun activities and outdoor games, or simply relax in the tranquil surroundings. There are also plenty of events taking place throughout the year, from music concerts to art exhibitions.

Whether you’re looking for an afternoon stroll or a day out with friends and family, the Abbey Gardens is sure to provide something for everyone. With its rich history and beautiful scenery, it’s easy to see why this park has become such a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.


“Do you remember when the Abbey Gardens had a drinking water fountain down the middle path, also a long seating area by the bowling green, and a shelter with long seating on the path next to the rose garden?”

Peter Elliston


“When I was growing up both sides of the water garden pond in the Abbey Gardens had pavers that allowed us to run and jump across the middle of the pond! I forgot how many times I jumped across without getting in trouble!! It has been refurbished a few times since I was a child.”

Julia Bailey


“There used to be a man in Bury years ago that used to wave his walking stick. The nickname “Chutney” rings a bell? Very well-spoken. Old public schoolboy I think? Quite a character and also a man that used to sit in The Abbey Gardens in the summer with a duffle coat on a bag of the newspapers beside him. Both town characters!!”

Vanessa Anne


“Nearly 46 years ago I played a very small part in the 1970 pageant of St Edmund. This was a staged performance held in the Abbey Gardens which ran for three weeks if I remember correctly. There was also a film made of this. Be interesting how many people can not only remember this, but we’re in it. I can remember several names but would be of interest if anyone has any photos, cheers.”

Tony Sturgeon


“Does anyone have any photos of the Abbey Gardens play area during the 70s? I am sure that in amongst the majestic peacocks there was some kind of maypole/swing contraption. Would love to know if I remember it or I dreamt it!”

Jo Lundy


“A summer evening in the Abbey Gardens last year. Sometimes it’s all you need. My history started here, in the play area, feeding the ducks and going to see the birds & the monkeys. Later on, playing putting and bowls with my Dad. And then when I became a parent I introduced my girls to this beautiful relaxing place.”

Adrian Green


“Nothing beats an afternoon in the Abbey Gardens… Just so long as you don’t mind the wildlife.”

Julie Fenton


“Edmund of Anglia, 1970 The successful Bury St Edmunds Magna Carta Pageant in 1959 re-awoke an enthusiasm for historical re-enactment in the Suffolk town that had lain dormant since 1907. Around 50,000 people saw the performance, and it made about £33,000 profit in today’s money.
Just eleven years later, the town decided to stage another. Dubbed ‘Edmund of Anglia’, it was really more of a pageant-play. The site was again the Abbey Gardens, where the pageant was staged 19 times in the summertime.”

Alison Elizabeth Ashby


“The Abbots Bridge Abbey Gardens
Famous people. I have only had a connection with a couple of famous people in town. I bumped into the wonderful actor Bill Treacher who had been in Eastenders. Whenever he was seen around town, he always had a cheery smile and appreciative word and time for you. An all-round good egg.

I also bumped into Ruby Wax the other week. Oh, that was so funny. I was out with my dogs, Lucy and Scruples, and was near the river in the Abbey Gardens chatting with some friends. My friend said, “Look there’s Ruby Wax!” and we all looked round to see Ruby heading quickly towards the river. She seemed to have a purpose in her pace and was with a friend. I went to talk to her, wanting desperately to tell her about our group. She said she was late for a meeting, which really meant, “oh my god, who is this crazy man chasing me”.

I’m not sure where her meeting was but she took a bee style route around the Abbey ruins to get there. .. I’m sure there was a more direct route she could have taken.”

James Sheen