Serene and Sacred in Bury St. Edmunds – Part 2

The warmth of the cathedral’s interior was a welcome respite from the icy cold outside. We had come to Bury St. Edmunds in Suffolk for the afternoon and we had just entered the serenely beautiful St. Edmundsbury Cathedral. Our eyes were immediately drawn upward as we absorbed the vast height of the interior.

This massive structure was typical of a European cathedral since it was built in stages over rather a long period of time. Construction of the surrounding abbey had begun in 1065 and building on the church began in 1503. But ongoing work has continued over the centuries that followed and the Gothic style tower was only completed in 2005.

St. Edmundsbury Cathedral-centre aisle

Those blue items that you see in the photos above and below are kneeling cushions — and what an array of them there are. Lovingly handstitched in tapestry, they bear the coat of arms of various villages, parishes, and organizations.

Kneeling cushions in St. Edmundsbury Cathedral

Light floods in from the lantern tower overhead and from all sides through the vast windows making the interior bright and airy.

St. Edmundsbury Cathedral altar

St. Edmundsbury Cathedral altar

In spite of its turbulent beginnings and oft-times violent history, the remnants of the abbey and the current beautiful cathedral are tranquil places to visit when in Suffolk.

We spent about an hour walking slowly through the cloisters, the cathedral, and the side chapels. There is a very welcoming sensation inside and there is none of the cold or austere atmosphere that you sometimes encounter in buildings such as this.

It must be a massive and expensive undertaking to maintain such an important building, so it is certainly worth taking the time to consider a donation to the cathedral if you have enjoyed your visit. Their amusing but accurate donation box makes that easy to do.

Donation box at St. Edmundsbury Cathedral

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