Crown and Wolf Roundabout Art Tom Soper 1500x390


Roundabout Art Tells the History of Bury St Edmunds

From the dramatic steel figure of St Edmund to the uplifting dove of peace, the unique roundabouts in Bury St Edmunds use stunning artwork to welcome visitors into the town and tell of its history.

St Edmund at his Martyrdom - Risbygate Street roundabout at Parkway

St Edmund statue Roundabout Art Shawn Pearce 965x540

Photo: Shawn Pearce

Among the many unique features of Bury St Edmunds is that almost every major junction into town has extraordinary modern artworks which mark key moments in its history.

All of the roundabout artwork projects were led by Bury St Edmunds in Bloom, an independent charity run by Bury Society dedicated to promoting a greener, cleaner and a more beautiful Bury St Edmunds.

A dramatic steel figure of St Edmund, who before George held the title of the first Patron Saint of England, can be seen on the roundabout where Parkway crosses Risbygate Street.

Designed by Emmanuel O'Brien and made by blacksmith Nigel Kaines, the statue of St Edmund at his martyrdom is made from steel wire with steel arrows penetrating Edmund’s heart and body.

The Legend of the Wolf of St Edmund - Southgate Green Roundabout

The Wolf by Ben Loughrill Tom Soper 965x540

Photo: Tom Soper

St Edmund was an Anglo-Saxon King and ruled East Anglia between 855AD and 869AD. He was killed by Viking raiders for refusing to renounce his Christian faith during the Danish invasion.

The story goes that after being killed with arrows and decapitated in Suffolk, the king's body was found but his head was missing. Edmund’s supporters heard a wolf call them and found it guarding the king's head, which was then reunited with his body which miraculously become reattached. This was felt to be a sign of sainthood and many miracles were then attributed to Edmund and his shrine in Bury St Edmunds became a place of pilgrimage. This resulted in the growth and prosperity of the Abbey and the town.

The wolf is a central figure of the story of St Edmund and is brought to life on the town’s Southgate Green roundabout near the town’s east junction with the A14.

The 7ft wood carving by sculptor Ben Loughrill depicts the animal guarding St Edmund’s head beside his battered crown.

See how the wolf was carved!

St Edmund’s Crown - Cullum Road/Nowton Road roundabout

The Crown Roundabout Art Bury St Edmunds in Bloom 965x540

Photo: Bury St Edmunds in Bloom

St Edmund's Crown is the theme of the bronze coloured lattice work made of steel and willows on the roundabout between Cullum Road and Nowton Road.

The large crown, created by artist Liz Cooke, is pierced by two arrows symbolising the link with St Edmund but also Greene King.

Bury St Edmunds is the home of Greene King and the crown and arrows features in Greene King’s logo. Greene King has been brewing in Bury St Edmunds since 1799 and the willow for the artwork was grown by Lark Valley Willow on the meadows near the brewery.

With The Grain - King’s Road roundabout at Parkway

Kings Road With the Grain Roundabout Art Josephine Sweetman 965x540

Photo: Josephine Sweetman

Outside the Abbey, Bury St Edmunds was always been an agricultural town and at the King’s Road roundabout at Parkway this aspect of the town’s heritage is commemorated.

The Grain sculpture by local resident Roy Proctor and forged by blacksmith Nigel Kaines is a stone’s throw from were, centuries ago, many windmills ground corn.

Flight of Peace - Lady Miriam Way roundabout

Flight of Peace Roundabout Art Close Up 965x540

Photo: Josephine Sweetman

The Flight of Peace sculpture on the Lady Miriam Way roundabout commemorates the US Air Force’s arrival at Rougham in 1943.

The breath-taking B17 Flying Fortress commemoration sculpture, with a dove of peace blossoming from it, is a symbolic remembrance of those gallant American servicemen who, by preparing, maintaining and flying the B17 Flying Fortress bombers on 325 missions between June 1943 and April 1945 during WWII, contributed to lasting peace in Europe.

The aircraft from Rougham Airfield were identified by the letter A in a square background on the tailfin, which is captured in the sculpture. The landscaping of the roundabout represents the United States five pointed white star in a blue circle. The star is planted with ‘white’ grasses together with white flowering plants and is surrounded with loose ‘blue’ slate.

Flight of Peace sculpture - Bury In Bloom

James Moore Cyclist Sculpture - Mount Road/Orttewell roundabout

James Moore Sculpture grandson John Moore pictured BLOG

The James Moore sculpture on the roundabout which joins Mount Road and Orttewell Road celebrates a Bury St Edmunds-born cyclist who won the world’s first road race 150 years ago.

James Moore – who won the 130km Paris-Rouen race on his velocipede in 1869 - was born in Long Brackland, Bury, in 1849 but moved to Paris when he was four-years-old. He was one of the first stars of cycling and went on to dominate the sport for many years.

The life-size eye-catching sculpture of Moore on his velocipede, which was designed, made and installed by artist Nigel Kaines.

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