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Ringing for the Magna Carta barons...

On Saturday 8 November the Norman Tower bell ringers in Bury St Edmunds will attempt a special peal of bells to mark the 800th anniversary of the meeting of the barons of England in Bury St Edmunds in 1214. This meeting, which took place in the Abbey of St Edmund, sometime in the autumn of 1214, led ultimately to King John sealing Magna Carta in June 1215. The town has been marking its significant role in the Magna Carta story throughout the year, most recently with the ‘Our Liberty’ Light and Sound show.

Starting at 10 am this Saturday ten bell ringers will ring the ten largest bells in the Norman Tower, which is a free standing tower, formerly the gateway into the Abbey of St Edmund and now the bell tower for St Edmundsbury Cathedral.

A peal is made up of a number of ‘changes’, a complex pattern which means that the bell ringers need to give their full concentration to the task. This brand new peal is called St

Edmund's Abbey Surprise Royal and will be made up of 5800 changes. It is expected to take about 4 hours to ring all the changes. Usually a peal of bells is made up of 5000 changes but an extra 800 have been added to mark the Magna Carta 800th anniversary.

‘It is great that our local bell ringers have created this unique way to celebrate the anniversary of our links with Magna Carta,’ comments Sarah Friswell, PR Manager. ‘We are also looking forward to our bell ringers joining with others next year when the national 800th anniversary is marked in June.’


Telephone 01284 748720

Email Click here to email

Website click here to visit

Address The Cathedral Office, Abbey House, Angel Hill, Bury St Edmunds
IP33 1ls

Opening Hours Open daily from 8.00am to 6.00pm


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2nd Floor, 2 Woolhall Street, Bury St Edmunds, IP33 1LA   01284 766258