Mini monks installed in stone Dovecote in the Abbey Gardens

Ruined dovecote of medieval abbey in Bury St Edmunds

Ceramic artist Deborah Pipe has made 27 ceramic figures, which have been installed in the 12th century stone Dovecote within the grounds of the Abbey Gardens, in Bury St Edmunds

The unique mini figures depict the life of monks in the Benedictine Abbey as featured in the new Mini Monks I-Spy competition trail to find the sculptures hidden in the walls of the Dovecote; the latest Abbey 1000 CIC project.

Stonemason Jonathan Presley has carefully inserted the mini monks into spaces into the spaces using a specially prepared lime mortar.

A free mini monks I-Spy competition leaflet is available from the tourist information point at St Edmundsbury Cathedral shop and the Apex and can also be downloaded at It features some interesting facts about the monks and the Abbey of St Edmund, which celebrates its 1000th anniversary this year.

Melanie Lesser, from the Abbey 1000 CIC committee, said: “We are really delighted with Deborah’s mini monks as they give families a fun way of learning about the lives and different roles of the medieval monks in our historic Abbey.”

The project has been funded by Bury St Edmunds Town Council and Suffolk County councillors’ locality budgets and the Bury Society. Historic England and English Heritage have given permission for the sculptures to remain in the walls of the Abbey until November this year.

The Abbey 1000 celebrations are being co-ordinated by the Abbey 1000 C.I.C., alongside the Abbey of St Edmund Heritage Partnership. The group is made up of organisations in the town chaired by Libby Ranzetta, that include Abbey of St Edmund Heritage Partnership, Bury St Edmunds and Beyond, Bury St Edmunds Tour Guides, Bury St Edmunds Town Council, Bury St Edmunds Water Meadows Group, Greene King, Moyse’s Hall Museum, Our Bury St Edmunds Business Improvement District, St Edmund’s RC Church, St Edmundsbury Cathedral, Suffolk Archives, The Bury Society, Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds, Treatt and West Suffolk Council.

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