The medieval ruins of the Abbey of St Edmund date to the 11th and 12th centuries. Constructed of flint rubble, the houses inserted into the west front during the 18th century lay derelict requiring a major intervention to make them habitable once again.
Designated as a Building at Risk, English Heritage and St Edmundsbury Borough Council deliberated to sensitively achieve the conservation and conversion of the structure into five new high-quality dwellings.
Retaining as much of the fabric as possible, the building is once again fully inhabited.
Rear of west front
New rear extensions were built into the remaining fabric of the Abbey structure (above)
Located off Crown Street is the Norman Tower of the former Abbey of St Edmund. Built between 1120 and 1148 under Abbot Anselm, the Tower is constructed of Barnack stone and consists of four stages.
The Romanesque tower features tall blank arches with colonnettes dividing the window openings.
The tower was restored by the British architect Lewis Nockalls Cottingham between 1846-1847.
The interior timber roof beams
The Norman Tower is Grade I Listed and a Scheduled Ancient Monument.
Located within the grounds of the Abbey is the ruins of the Charnel Chapel by the elected 16th Abbot, John of Northwold.
Dating to the late 13th century, the Chapel is constructed of rubble flint and stone dressings and features numerous memorial tablets.
The Chapel was built to store the bones originally buried in the Great Churchyard.
The Chapel of the Charnel is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and is Grade I listed
The great gate of the Abbey of St Edmund was rebuilt between 1327 – 1353. Constructed of Barnack stone, the gate is richly decorated with a segmental entrance arch. The west facade (above) features many niches which once would have contained statues. The battlemented exterior is of two storeys and details six pointed stars in the circular stone niches.
The gate consists of two chambers with 17th century timber gates which separate them. The great gate is Grade I Listed and a Scheduled Ancient Monument.