I was absolutely horrified to see R Holton’s suggestion (Letters, March 2) that St Edmunds’ Tavern (which will always be known to me as my family’s home, The Rising Sun) should be used as a site for a future mosque. I also wonder if R Holton actually realises that this property is a listed building.
Three generations of my Barnard family (father, grandfather and great grandfather) were publicans in this public house and I was told by my mother that it was built in 1420. I therefore consider it to be part of Bury St Edmunds’ history. Indeed, when I lived there some old writing was found under the plaster of one of the walls in my bedroom and Moyse’s Hall was called to come and examine it. Unfortunately, they took far too long to come out and examine it and the decorators from Greene King decided they couldn’t wait and covered it all over again.
I also recall that a ‘strange sighting’ was seen by my father in one of the downstairs rooms, though he never did admit to me what he had seen and as a child I daren’t ask him. When I had the opportunity I asked other members of our family who were recent landlords of the pub whether they had experienced unusual things in the pub and they admitted that they had. I suppose given the age of the place and past history (including a stay by Oliver Cromwell) this is not surprising.
When the work was carried out at the time of change to St Edmund’s Tavern,the inside transformation was really impressive and improved the inside of the property considerably. It would be ridiculous to consider turning this part of Bury’s history into a mosque.