Thursday, April 13, 2006

Angel Hotel Bury St Edmunds

The Angel Hotel in Bury St Edmunds was built in 1779 and is situated in a commanding position on one of England's prettiest Georgian squares.

Records show that prior to this building there stood an Angel Inn on this very spot as long ago as 1452.

Anyone who has visited the Angel Hotel and ventured into the Vaults for a meal and seen the medieval arches will know the history goes back much further and there are many theories put forward of underground vaults between here and the Abbey Gardens.
One theory is that the Vaults were
originally used by the monks of St Edmundsbury Abbey as a Charnel House to which songs were song to the departed sould whose bones were entombed in the underground vaults.

In Leonard Thompson's excellent book on the Inns of Suffolk he states that there were originally 3 inns where the Angel Hotel is now sited - The Castle , the Angel and the White Bear.

It was a decision by the Guildhall Feoffees which led to the present building being built at a cost of £2,000.

There are many characters associated with the Angel Hotel of the course of its history. One of those who would have had course to regret ever setting sight upon it would be a Robert Clarke who presented a forged £1 note and was executed for the crime in 1807.

The Angel Hotel is chiefly associated with Charles Dickens. Room 15 at the Angel Hotel is where Charles Dickens stayed when he visited Bury and gave readings in the Town of his book David Copperfield. Dickens writes of Bury St Edmunds and the Angel Hotel in his book the Pickwick Papers. In the storey Mr Pickwick is on the trail of Mr Jingle and stays the night at the Angel Hotel.

Bury St Edmunds was full of coaching inns. The Angel served this purpose at least as far back as 1739 when journeys were advertised between Norwich and London via Bury St Edmunds taking 2 days to complete.

I well remember myself working in the kitchens at the Angel Hotel when I was around 16 years old operating the dishwasher. The kitchen was a volatile place full of bad tempers and I didn't stay long.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Running in Suffolk