Bungay and surrounding area
Bungay, with its attractive location In the Waveney Valley, and wealth of historic sites, is one of the most fascinating towns in Suffolk. Situated on sloping land, partly encircled by the River Waveney, it commands extensive views over lush water meadows, often flooded in winter, but fringed with silver green willows, and grazed by cattle in the summer months, creating a vista of serene beauty.
The town centre displays a Roman well, a Saxon church, the remains of a Norman castle and a Benedictine priory, and a fine lead-domed Butter Cross surmounted by a copy of the Justice statue that sits on the Old Bailey. The street scene is dominated by the majestic tower of St. Mary's which, rising above the landscape for miles around, serves as a symbol of Bungay's rich heritage.
Originally a Roman settlement it was later occupied by Saxons and William de Noyers was thought to have built the first version of Bungay Castle on its present site shortly after the Norman invasion.
The present ruined castle was first built by Hugh Bigod in 1165. Hugh then challenged the King to win possession of Norwich but the castle was destroyed after he lost, only to be rebuilt in 1297 by descendant Roger Bigod. It later fell into disrepair but the ruins can be visited just behind the Kings Head.
As well as boasting a well preserved largely Georgian town centre Bungay has the vibrant Fisher Theatre, a modern swimming pool, canoes for hire at the Staithe, and a host of good shops including many antique and gift shops.
It is in the heart of the Waveney Valley near Beccles, Halesworth and Harleston, with the Sunrise coastal family resorts of Lowestoft, and Great Yarmouth, the heritage coastal towns of Southwold and Aldburgh, beautiful scenery and large shopping centres of Norwich and Ipswich all within easy reach.
The town is a major centre for walking and cycling with routes like Bigods Way and the linked Angles and Waveney Way and the castle is reputed to be the crossroads of several ley lines.
And, of course, there is well documented Black Shuck (dog) of Bungay which terrified worshippers at St Mary's Church in 1577 when this ghostly apparition burst into the church and killed a man and a boy, leaving scorch marks which can still be seen on the north door.
Whats on in Bungay
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