Monument record BSE 136 - Town Defences: NW section (Med)

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Known & assumed line of Med town bank (& ditch?) from the Northgate (BSE 069) SW to St Andrews Street North and S to Risbygate (BSE 067).


Grid reference Centred TL 8518 6423 (69m by 1054m) (Centred on)
Map sheet TL86SE


Type and Period (4)

Full Description

Known & assumed line of Med town bank (& ditch?) from the Northgate (BSE 069) SW to St Andrews Street North and S to Risbygate (BSE 067).
For associated ditch(?) note that William of Malmesbury quoted a tradition that Cnut (AD 1016-1035) had built a ditch round the town (S1)(R3). Documentary evidence also suggests that a stone wall had been erected round the town by the Abbey sacrist Hervey, under Abbot Anselm (1121 and 1148)(S1)(R1)(R2) although no trace of this wall was found in a section across part of the defences at BSE 016 (see S1).
In 1215 King John sent his commanders to the Prior and Sachrist to stop the fortification (wall) and take down what they had already erected (S4).
Oct 1467: documents relating to Barrow Charity Lands in Bury Record offfice refer to lands in 'Gyldehallestrete with abuttals W of 'Bury town wall' (S6).
1603-1625: in a charter of King James 1 Bury is mentioned as a 'walled town' (S4).
For other documentary references see (R4)-(R6). For excavation details see (S1).
1996: A series of three trial trenches were excavated just to the N of the bank/wall line (see BSE 137). Further development of this area likely to follow.
2010: Part of the town ditch seen in monitoring BSE 295 (S5).
Line marked on HER maps follows siting after BSE 069 and 016 and PMed wall line depicted by Downing in 1740 (S2) and Warren in 1747(?) and subsequent OS maps. Line of possible extension to E not known. For extension to S of Risbygate see BSE 139.
Also Sax and PMed.

Sources/Archives (13)

  • <R1> (No record type): BM, Harl Ms, 1005, 120f.
  • <S1> (No record type): West S E, PSIA, 32, 1970, 17-24.
  • <M1> Unpublished document: Suffolk Archaeological Service. Parish file. Parish file: copy (S2)(S3).
  • <S2> (No record type): Downing A, A new and accurate plan of the Ancient Borough of Bury St Edmunds, 1740.
  • <R2> (No record type): Arnold T, Memorials of St Edmunds Abbey, 1892, ii, 290.
  • <R3> (No record type): Malmesbury, W. of. Malmesbury W, Gesta Pontificum Anglorum, 155.
  • <S3> (No record type): Warren T, map, A Survey of the Ancient Borough of Bury St Edmunds, 1747.
  • <R4> (No record type): Reference to `stone wall' in 1400, SRO (Bury), E4/11/15.
  • <S4> (No record type): Yates R, notes about town wall, early C19th, SRO (Bury), P755/35.
  • <R5> (No record type): Reference to `stone wall' in deed of 1467, SRO (Bury), EL 13/12/13.
  • <S5> Unpublished document: Tester, A.. 2010. Archaeological Monitoring Report, Land to Rear of 82 Guildhall Street, Bury St Edmunds, BSE 295.
  • <R6> (No record type): Reference to `le dykewalle' of town in deed of 1570-1, SRO (Bury), EXY4/ V.6.
  • <S6> Source Checked: Suffolk Record Office. Bury, EL 13/12/13, Oct 1467.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (0)

Record last edited

Feb 1 2013 4:41PM

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