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Risby is a West Suffolk village located around 3 miles west of Bury St Edmunds.

Risby walks

There are some walks around the village – there will be a plan in the property file showing footpath routes.

Risby pub

You will get a warm welcome at the Crown and Castle located in the village within walking distance.

They serve a range of lunches and evening meals and good beers.

Risby barns

Risby Barns consists of a clutch of buildings around a 16th century barn  housing antiques, collectables, and bric-a-brac that you can get lost in. There is a small garden centre and a sewing centre.
The on-site cafe, 'The Nook', serves excellent food and drink.

Risby playing field and village hall

There is often a football or cricket match going on where the locals get their exercise and entertainment.


We are on the intersection of National Cycle Routes 51 and 13. There are other road routes we can suggest of varying distances. Thetford Forest provides leisurely off road tracks or runs for mountain bikes, bike hire is available. Kentford cycle park is for the adventurous, we suggest you look at their website which will detail the facilities they offer. We have cycle storage on site.


The jewel in the crown of Suffolk.

Bury is a historic market town on the river Lark surrounded by countryside with 1,000 years of history to explore, it is the home of Saint Edmund, the original patron Saint of England.


The East Anglian Martyr king, who was killed by the Danes in 869 either in battle against the Great Viking Heathen army that advanced through East Anglia or after capture for not renouncing Christ. A popular cult emerged after Edmund’s death and during the 10th century his remains were brought to the monastery at Beodricesworth (Bury St Edmunds) where a shrine was created, and reputed miracles were performed.


The fame of Saint Edmund spread, and the town became a place of pilgrimage changing its name to St Edmund’s Bury. The Abbey grew in power and wealth and in 1214 the barons of England met there and swore to force King John to accept the Charter of Liberties (the Magna Carta).  


In Medieval times the Abbey of Saint Edmund was one of the richest, largest, and most powerful Benedictine monasteries in England and people came from all over Europe to visit St Edmunds shrine. The Abbey’s suppression of the town’s people was demonstrated by the murder of 57 Jews in 1190, the Great Riot of 1327 when the main Abbey gate was destroyed, and the Great uprising  of 1381 when the Abbey was sacked, and the Priors head put on a pike in the market square. The town however prospered and cloth making flourished with a large woollen trade. Under King Henry VIII the Abbey was dissolved in 1539 and since then Edmund’s final

resting place has been a great mystery, some believe he is buried somewhere within the Abbey precincts. It was at this time that Mary Tudor, Queen of France, and Henry VIII’s sister was reburied in St Mary’s church, six years after her death, having been moved from the Abbey following dissolution.  The Abbey had held sway over the life of the town and the whole of West Suffolk for 500 years.

Unsettled religious wrangling in the following years resulted in 17 Protestant Martyrs who died for their beliefs during the reign of Queen Mary 1555-1558 and others hanged in 1583 for spreading their religious principles. The old Abbey property was sold in 1560, but the town remained under state control until 1606 when it was granted its first charter by James I and gradually the people of Bury were given back the rights, lands, and possessions held by the Crown.

The town suffered a Great Fire in 1608 resulting in the destruction of 160 dwellings, the king helped in the rebuilding by donating large quantities of timber. There followed a depression in the woollen trade and religious resentments between Protestant and Puritan again made life precarious. Many left the area for a better life in America. Initially the town was predominantly Parliamentarian during the civil war, but later on Parliamentary troops billeted throughout the town at the house-holders expense behaved so badly that Bury turned broadly Royalist. The town escaped the civil war but not the attentions of Matthew Hopkins, the Witchfinder General, who from 1644 to 1647 found no fewer than 40 victims in Bury. In 1648 the Maypole riots took place when the Puritans declared Christmas redundant as well as the May-day celebrations, the erection of a maypole sparked riots eventually put down by the New Model Army. In 1689 a road suitable for coach travel passed through Bury connecting Norfolk to London bringing news and people to the town. In time enough traffic encouraged highway men and the roads outside Bury were said to be infested with robbers. The 18th and 19th centuries were to see Bury St Edmunds flourish, attracting moneyed and titled families, lovers of literature and music, becoming a centre of culture and architectural advancement. Freed from Puritanism at the Restoration public theatre, musical performances etc gave Bury a new up-market look. Many of the landed gentry built houses in town with their Georgian fronts for social reasons and to have their babies in, these are mostly older timber framed buildings clad to appear Georgian in the white ‘Woolpit’ bricks.


Daniel Defoe visited Bury a couple of times in the early 1700’s when he observed that the chief enterprise in the town was spinning with little else in the way of industry. He wrote that the town was thronged with gentry, people of the best fashion and the most polite conversation, crowded with nobility and gentry and all sorts of most agreeable company. Defoe also commented on the Bury fair which was granted in the 12th century, it lasted 6 days but was disbanded by Act of Parliament in 1890 after descent into rowdyism, bawdy and riotous behaviour. He defended the attending ladies who other writers intimated were mostly prostitutes. The two main churches of St James and St Mary remained side by side splitting the town into two parishes but sharing one overcrowded churchyard. The Charnel House standing in the churchyard was where bones were put when exhumed as they used the burial space many times.


During the 19th century the town began to expand in 1824 the gas works was erected, and in 1825 the West Suffolk General Hospital was founded. In 1828 after a three-day trial William Corder was found guilty of murdering his fiancée, Maria Marten (the Red Barn murder). He was sentenced to be hanged and his body given to medical research. A crowd of 10,000 witnessed the proceedings at the county gaol, afterwards his body was cut open and laid out on show before being taken to West Suffolk Hospital for dissection. In 1859 and 1861 Charles Dickens visited Bury and his visits are immortalised in ‘The Pickwick Papers’, he stayed at The Angel Hotel (built from 3 former hostelries in 1774) giving readings of his work in the nearby Athenaeum.

From 1715 to 1855 the river Lark was a water highway for barges, and in 1846 the rail link to London was opened, the Lark opened again in the late 1880's with the river being dredged and locks put in but barges could not compete with the railways causing it to close in 1894. The Theatre Royal was erected in 1819, and closed in 1925, being used as a barrel store for the local brewery until 1975 when the National Trust took a long lease and reopened it.

In 1899 during the Boer war the First Battalion of the Suffolk Regiment, which included a lot of Bury men, was sent to Cape Town where it took part in the Battle of Red Hill on 6th January 1900. Thirty seven men were killed trying to take the hill, later named Suffolk Hill in honour of the regiment. The Boer war memorial on the Butter market of a bare headed soldier seated on a coffin lid grasping a rifle with his helmet on the rocks below bears the names of the fallen.

Electric light first came to Bury in 1901, one of the main advocates for bringing it to the town was Alderman J Gough JP who was suffering from paralysis of the throat, as soon as he had seen his ambition fulfilled he committed suicide at home in Northgate Street.

The outbreak of the First World War saw Suffolk Regiment Battalions sent from Ireland straight to France where they formed the rear-guard to the retreat from Mons with 720 casualties. In 1915, 400 men of the Suffolks were lost at Frezen Berg Ridge, Ypres. Suffolk Regiments were sent to fight the Turkish people in Palestine earning great recognition for driving the Turks out of their position at the battle of Observation Hill. Bury itself suffered Zepplin raids in 1915 and 1916, the first dropping up to 50 incendiary bombs and the second killing seven people with its bombs.

During the Second World War the area around Bury St Edmunds played a key role in the defence of Great Britain. Airfields were opened by the RAF early on at Mildenhall, Honington and Stradishall. In 1939 over 900 evacuees were received in the town, more came later as London was bombed. The town was attacked from the air on several occasions by bomb and bullet but only 3 lives were lost. A V1 rocket flew over the town landing in a wood at Risby, the explosion was so large that a cottage one hundred yards away was badly damaged. Bury stood in the first defensive line to thwart invasion with pill-boxes and anti-tank defences stretching along the river Lark. An anti-tank ditch was dug around the town with road blocks and it was decided that only Borough residents living beyond the ditch would be admitted, no other refugees. Arrangements were made for 100 cows to be brought in for milk for the besieged inhabitants. Proximity to Europe put Bury and Suffolk in the front line, all large buildings in and around were taken over by the army, over 80,000 troops were trained here. There were 109 air bases in East Anglia, many of which were around Bury, these brought with them an influx of Americans in 1942 to fly alongside the British, Canadians and other allies. The Rougham airfield on Bury’s boundary was the home of the 94th Bomb Group (Flying Fortress), they completed 324 missions, lost 153 planes in action and 27 in accidents. By D-Day there were 71,000 American servicemen in Suffolk and many GI relationships resulted. Suffolk battalions served in France (Dunkirk), D-Day landings, India, Singapore and famously were among the men forced to work on the Burma/Thailand railway where they lost 615 men in captivity.

Cathedral town
Bury St Edmunds is the cathedral town of Suffolk and is known as Suffolk’s foodie town with everything from award-winning fine dining to quality Suffolk home-cooked pub grub, each pub with its own unique atmosphere.


For beer lovers, Greene King has been brewing beer in Bury St Edmunds for more than 200 years and provides tours of the brewery. Shopping in Bury St Edmunds offers plenty of choice with a great mix of fantastic independents and High Street favourites. There are beautiful outdoor spaces to explore and a plentiful arts scene including theatre, live music, film, and art.

There are many places where you can entertain yourselves in and around Bury St Edmunds and of course lots of gorgeous countryside and stately homes around Bury with some very special places to visit.


This internationally recognised town is referred to as 'The Home of Horseracing'.

There is a long list of well-known, and indeed, well-deserved reasons for this. It all began with Newmarket's Town Plate which is widely recognised as the first recorded horserace in history to be run with a specific set of rules and therefore the birth of modern organised horseracing. The race was instigated by King Charles II in 1666 meaning there has been over 350 years of horseracing in the town. The racing mad monarch stated that the Town Plate should be run "forever" and it still is to this day, on the very same course. 


Newmarket Racecourse is a British Thoroughbred horse racing venue, comprising two individual racecourses: The Rowley Mile and the July Course. Newmarket is the headquarters of British horseracing and is home to the largest cluster of training yards in the country and many key horseracing organisations, including Tattersalls, the National Horseracing Museum and the National Stud. Newmarket hosts two of the country's five Classic Races - The 1,000 Guineas and 2,000 Guineas, and numerous other group races. In total, it hosts nine of British racing's 36 annual Group 1 races. The Rowley Mile Course (named after Old Rowley the favourite racehorse of King Charles II) and the July Course are both wide galloping tracks used for Flat racing only. 

  • The Rowley Mile course is used for racing in the Spring and Autumn and hosts the majority of the Group 1 races including the 2,000 and 1,000 Guineas. It has a 1 mile 2 furlong straight with minor undulations towards 'The Bushes', 2 furlongs out. The penultimate furlong is downhill and the last is uphill, forming 'The Dip'. Races beyond the distance of 1 mile 2 furlongs start on the 'Cesarewitch' or 'Beacon' course which turns right-handed into the straight.

  • The July Course is used in the Summer, it has a 1 mile straight known as 'The Bunbury Mile'. After 2 furlongs, there is a long downhill stretch before the uphill furlong to the finish. This course also uses the 'Cesarewitch/Beacon' course for longer distances, again turning right into the straight. The course hosts serval evening meetings with live music after racing.

Newmarket's famed Gallops, known historically as The Heath comprise of 2,500 acres of training grounds. Although used on a daily basis by over 3,000 of the town's equine residents and 80 trainers public access is allowed after 1pm everyday (Sundays 11am). Walks along the Gallops give panoramic views of the town.

Palace House is the remaining part of the second Palace built by King Charles II, it is now an art gallery adjacent to the National Horseracing Museum. The museum along with the National Stud are two unique must visit venues where one can appreciate the enormity and importance of the thoroughbred industry. Tattersalls in the centre of Newmarket is the oldest (1766) bloodstock auctioneers in the world and the largest in Europe. The official governing body for horseracing in Britain is the Jockey Club, which is based in the High Street with offices on the course.


During the Second World War racing was moved to the July Course the only racecourse in the country that remained operational, and the Rowley Mile became an airfield for the RAF. 

Devils Dyke, an Anglo-Saxon earthworks runs in a straight line for 7 miles, it is 10 metres high and dissects the two racecourses. It is thought it was built partly for defence and partly to control trade spanning a corridor between the impassable marshy Fenlands to the north and dense woodlands to the south. It crossed three Roman roads leading experts to believe it was a way of controlling traffic.

'Discover Newmarket' provide excellent guided tours in and around Newmarket enabling participants to see behind the scenes of this niche industry.

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