[Picture of

The Canon of John Lydgate Project

The Lives of Ss. Edmund and Fremund: Introduction

The Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds: Melford Hall
[Picture of
Melford Hall, Long Melford] Melford Hall, in the village of Long Melford (National Grid reference: TL 8646), just off the A134 about 14 miles due S of Bury St. Edmunds, was, from the time of Edward the Confessor until the Dissolution of the Monasteries by Henry VIII, the country house and deer park of the Abbot of Bury St. Edmunds. Thus the monks of Bury had close associations with the resident clerics in Long Melford, and the monks had a hand in the design and construction of the Clopton Chantry, a chapel built along the north side of the choir of the [Picture of
Long Melford church] Church of the Holy Trinity in Long Melford in the 1450s; the monks decorated the walls and ceilings with scrolls which include lines of verse by John Lydgate, himself only recently deceased.

After the Dissolution, the medieval house of Melford Hall was much expanded, principally by Sir William Cordell between 1554 and 1578. It was transferred to the National Trust in 1960, but continues to be the home of Sir Richard Hyde Parker.

The abbot of Bury also had a London house, known as Buries Markes, no trace of which remains but the location of which is commemorated in the names of Bury Street and Bevis Marks Street, EC3 (near Aldgate, and just NE of the new Lloyds tower). Lydgate must have used this house during his frequent stays in London in attendance on the court. At the time of the Dissolution of the monasteries, the abbot's London house was given to Sir Thomas Heneage, who demolished the building and built Bury Street over the site.

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© 1995 Stephen R. Reimer
English; University of Alberta; Edmonton, Canada
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Last revised: 9 Nov. 1995

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