Grounds Abbey Gardens is located at the heart of Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk.
The award-winning 14-acre Abbey Gardens is on the site of the former Benedictine Abbey, the Abbey of St Edmund, once one of the richest, largest and most powerful Benedictine monasteries in England. People came from all over England and further afield to visit the Shrine of St Edmund and it became one of the most famous and wealthy pilgrimage locations in England, visited by royalty.
Internationally renowned for its colourful and attractive displays and the heritage of its backdrop make the gardens a very special place to visit and visitors come from all over the world to see it. According to VisitEngland, the Abbey Gardens and ruins in Bury St Edmunds is the fifth most visited free attraction in England!
The gardens are framed by the abbey wall that runs from the 13th century Abbot’s Bridge via the imposing Abbey Gate to St Edmundsbury Cathedral.
It is not hard to understand why the Abbey Gardens have won the prestigious Green Flag Award on numerous occasions, it is a stunning venue for the many and varied cultural events which take place in Bury St Edmunds including the annual Bury St Edmunds Festival.
Created in 1831 by Nathaniel Hodson, the Abbey Gardens was originally a botanic garden laid out in the same style as the Royal Botanic Gardens in Brussels. In 1936 the concentric circles were replaced by the sixty-four island beds which, together with illuminations, formed part of the Coronation celebrations for George VI in 1937.
Today, approximately 20,000 plants are bedded out in the spring for the summer display plus 12,000 plants and 20,000 bulbs in the autumn for the spring display.