The ancient town of Bungay, with its wealth of historic sites is a tranquil tourist spot, well worth a visit.

Situated in a loop of the River Waveney, Bungay 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.

This time capsule of a town boasts a Roman well, a Saxon church, the remains of a Norman castle and Benedictine priory, and a fine lead-domed Butter Cross. The townscape is dominated by the majestic tower of St. Mary’s Church, serving as a symbol of Bungay’s rich heritage. These and many other sights can be visited by following the Bungay Town Trail.

Culture vultures will love the newly renovated Georgian Fisher Theatre in the centre of town, offering a wide programme of activities and events.

A unique shopping experience awaits visitors with a tempting array of individual specialist and antique shops. When you’re ready for a break, you will find plenty of choice in Bungay’s restaurants, cafes and tearooms. The Bungay Real Ale Trail provides a great opportunity to sample a range of local ales, with six of the original thirty-three 20th Century drinking houses still in operation today. Those who like the taste of the local Ale will also love St. Peters Brewery on the outskirts of the town.

Bungay legend

The town of Bungay is rich in folklore; St. Mary’s Church in particular beholds a dark legend. On a stormy Sunday in 1577 records claim that the devil appeared at the church in disguise as a black dog, which attacked the congregation. An old verse records ‘All down the church in midst of fire, the hellish monster flew, and, passing onward to the quire, he many people slew’. Look out for depictions of Black Shuck around the town.

Town Reeve

Did you know that Bungay is the only place in the UK with an active Town Reeve? Until the formation of the Urban District Council in 1910 the local government in Bungay was carried out by the Town Reeve and Feoffees, an ancient institution which has its origins in the Saxon civic authority.

The earliest surviving record of a Town Reeve in Bungay, William Brooke, appears in the St. Mary’s Churchwarden’s Book in 1536, now in the Suffolk Record Office. The Town Reeve today is nominated annually by the predecessor. No voting takes place and the name of the successor is kept a secret until the handover of office at the public meeting in December.

Take a look at…

Bungay Suffolk
Bungay Audio Trail