Roundhouse gets new lease of life

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AN HISTORIC building which once sat on the Cattle Market in Bury St Edmunds is being rebuilt – in Stowmarket.

Campaigners fought and failed to keep the Roundhouse and integrate it as part of the arc development in Bury.

Now it is being installed at the Museum of East Anglian Life as part of a £2.8 million project to restore Abbot’s Hall – a building that dates back to 1709 – a walled garden and a pair of 18th century workers cottages.

“The Roundhouse is significant,” said museum director Tony Butler. “It symbolises where town and country meet. Farmers and merchants settled accounts in this building for over a hundred years. I think the fact that it is now in a museum says a lot about the changing nature of market towns like Bury and Stowmarket.”

The Roundhouse, which dates back to 1864, was previously used to collect tariffs from the Bury market but fell into disuse when the market closed. It was dismantled in 2006 before being offered to the museum.

Cllr Sara Mildmay-White, deputy leader of St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said: “I am delighted that this distinctive building is beginning a new life. It exemplifies St Edmundsbury’s approach to preserving our heritage while embracing the new and promoting future prosperity.”