Monument record BSE 171 - Out Risbygate; Grove Road'; St Peters Pits

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Chalk pit. 'which was extended northwards by galleries' (Brit Geol Survey ms). Also plague pit in 1637.


Grid reference Centred TL 84525 64532 (294m by 106m)
Map sheet TL86SW


Type and Period (4)

Full Description

Chalk pit. 'which was extended northwards by galleries (Brit Geol Survey ms) has been partially filled and built over. No details of the extent of the workings or of their closure is available' (S1). Probably used for lime production in Medieval period - possible structural remains of early lime kilns under infilling. St Peter's pit is an open space in Risbygate Street in front of the College of Further Education. The pit is now nicely grassed over and the adjacent space is the college car park. Previously known as 'Dusty Millers' pit. Subsidence profile suggests a tunnel as opposed to an ammunition store as was previously thought.(S4)

Plot named 'Old Pitts' on Warren's map of Bury 1791 (S2). Names and mapped as 'St Peter's Pits' by 1880s by OS. For similar galleried chalk pits see HGR 012 (Horringer Court)., BSE 079, BSE 102 (Jacqueline Close).
According to Statham 'during the plague epidemic of 1637, St Peter's pit in Out Risbygate was used as a communal burial place, while the former St Peter's Hospital (see BSE 048, 218 & 307), which seems to have been used for purposes akin to its original function several times in the late 16th and early 17th centuries was used to accommodate those infected' (S3).

Sources/Archives (4)

  • <S1> Bibliographic reference: British Geological Survey. Geology of the Country around Bury St Edmunds, 1980, 80.
  • <S2> Map: Warren J, map, 1791.
  • <S3> Bibliographic reference: Margaret Statham. 1996. The Book of Bury St Edmunds. 2nd ed. p69.
  • <S4> Bibliographic reference: Pole, Derek. 2007. A Blight at the End of the Tunnel.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (0)

Record last edited

Jul 10 2019 9:46AM

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