On Thursday 27th April we were pleased to invite Martyn Taylor for a third visit to give one of his talks on the history of Bury St Edmunds.
His subject this time was Under Bury St Edmunds, a talk about the hidden chalk caves, tunnels and cellars under the town. On previous visits Martyn has talked about the Inns, Pubs and Ale Houses of Bury St Edmunds and Mary Tudor, Bury St Edmunds own queen.

clarice house, martyn taylor, bury st edmunds, community church
Clarice House is home to many nocturnal residents.

Bats only, please

The talk was fascinating and I’m sure I am not alone in saying I really didn’t appreciate what is under my feet as I walk around the town. I am after all an immigrant, hailing from Cheshire but I have been here for 26 years. However, the photos we saw gave us some insight into what the underground tunnel systems would have been like but unfortunately due to “health and safety” most have been filled in or made inaccessible. For example access to the tunnel starting in the grounds of Clarice House is barred allowing only its residential bats to move freely in and out. Small parts of the tunnels and caves though can still be seen beneath some of the buildings in the town but are used only for storage. Even Martyn has been denied “a wee look”.

A good turnout

We had 42 booked in for the evening but unfortunately only 37 were able to come. Having said that, 37 is a good number for a small church, the number up on both of Martyn’s previous visits. It was however really pleasing to see so many guests there.


Following quite a long period of questions and answers, which was proof itself of the interest in the subject, it was time for tea, coffee and delicious cakes to consume (difficult). It was good to see the guests in particular mixing and chatting with everyone.


Once again I must give a huge thanks to all those folks who were willing to lend a hand not only to set-up but to clear away afterwards. As with everything in our family church we just “get stuck-in and get it done”, but I don’t want things to be taken for granted so again my thanks to all.

– David Brereton.

Photo source: Laterooms.com

Going Underground: Local historian talks about the hidden secrets.

One thought on “Going Underground: Local historian talks about the hidden secrets.

  • 12th November 2019 at 5:50 pm

    Thankyou for this fascinating story love local history found out far more than I thought I would. Amazing history on my door step. Didnt think the tunnel went so far out of the town.


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