Today (20 November 2018) is a day of celebration for our town, as we remember the life of Edmund the Martyr, otherwise know as St Edmund (841 -869).
Whilst it may seem strange to be celebrating the life of a King who died so long ago, St Edmund has played a huge part in the heritage of our town which is proudly named after him.
Who is St Edmund?
St Edmund became King of East Anglia in 856 AD – It is thought that he died after battling the Danes who had invaded the town and demanded that he renounced his Christian faith.
“Bury St Edmunds does not just owe its name to St Edmund: he is the source and origin of everything that makes Bury special today.”
Dr Francis Young, Historian, We Love Bury St Edmunds
After his death, Edmund was named the first Patron Saint of the English people, yet in 1350, his name was removed by Edward III and replaced by St George. Several years ago, there was a campaign to reinstate Edmund as the official Patron Saint of England but whilst it was ultimately unsuccessful, it has relaunched itself in our town as an initiative to help us understand our historical roots.
St Edmunds Day 2018
The first official St Edmunds Day was held on the 20 November 2017 (commemorating the anniversary of his death) and over 100 businesses (including ourselves) celebrated the event by proudly flying the Suffolk flag and displaying bunting.
This year, we are proud to be involved in the day as it is wonderful to be part of any initiative which celebrates the history of our town. Not only does it build pride, but it’s a great way to shine a spotlight on Bury St Edmunds.
Although the Day is officially celebrated on the 20 November, we are pleased that this year, the celebrations will be extended across the weekend to coincide with the annual Christmas Fayre. With more than 120,000 people expected to visit Bury St Edmunds, it’s a wonderful celebration of the town’s legacy.