Monument record BSE 334 - Aviary Wall Recording, Abbey Gardens, Bury St Edmunds

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Photographic and drawn study of the 'Aviary Wall', the remains of a range of monastic service buildings, constructed against the inside of the precinct wall within the medieval Abbey.


Grid reference Centred TL 8564 6432 (62m by 33m)
Map sheet TL86SE


Type and Period (2)

Full Description

2009: An archaeological study was undertaken of the 'Aviary Wall', in the Abbey gardens, Bury St Edmunds. The wall is the remains of a range of monastic service buildings, constructed against the inside of the precinct wall within the medieval Abbey. The work included a drawn and photographic survey of each elevation of the wall and the hand-excavation of two tests holes. The surveyed section covers three distinct buildings at the east end of the range, although this is difficult to appreciate as all the internal walls have been removed, that included the bake and brew houses. The buildings are well served by a variety of windows and openings distinguishing these industrial buildings from the stables and cowsheds which make up the rest of the range. A service range was first constructed along with the precinct wall in the first half of the 12th century but the brew and bake houses date to the first half of the 13th century. The excavation demonstrates that part of the range, at least, had an undercroft or deeply sunken floor. This was filled in with a combination of demolition rubble from the destruction of the building during the Dissolution and the dumping of imported soil during the 18th and 20th centuries (S1).

July 2009: Archaeological assessment of the wall fabric failure within the south facing internal wall of a series of buildings which formed a 'lean-too' range utilising the Abbey north Precinct wall on its north side. Although the line of the wall is complete no roof or internal partitions survive. Materials used in the fabric in the area of the aviary are predominantly flint st in lime mortar, but some small areas of rooftile and brick are present; dressings to openings are in ashlar, buttresses are formed with ashlar and were probably of two stages (S2).

2010: The aviary wall repair works were monitored in order to complete the record regarding the work carried out in August 2009. This work uncovered no further results than in the previous work (S3).

Sources/Archives (3)

  • <S1> Unpublished document: Gill, D.. 2009. Aviary Wall Recording, Abbey Gardens, Bury St Edmunds, BSE 334.
  • <S2> Unpublished document: Carr, R. D.. 2009. Archaeological Assessment, North Precinct; internal buildings south wall; area of the aviary, Bury St Edmunds Abbey.
  • <S3> Unpublished document: Gill, D.. 2010. Archaeological Monitoring Report, Aviary Wall Monitoring, Abbey Gardens, BSE 334.

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Protected Status/Designation

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Related Events/Activities (3)

Record last edited

Jul 27 2018 3:32PM

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