St Edmundsbury

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 Moyses Hall
 History of the Building
 12th Century Origins
 Merchants 1300 - 1600
 Policemen 1600 - 1892
 Museum 1892 - 99
 Neighbouring Buildings
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 General Outline
 The South Elevation
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 The First Hunters
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 British Tribal Kingdoms
 Outpost of an Empire
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 Men of the Cloth
 Crime and Punishment
 Making Music
 Arms and Armour
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 Local Genius
 Wierd and Wonderful
 Archaeology Resources
 Sue Ryder
*Recommended Reading

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LOCAL HISTORY - The Weird and the Wonderful

It is often people's hopes and fears, their enthusiasms and frustrations, which drive them to do things a little differently. Behind the normal everyday veneer of routine life, there is often a more interesting story to be found. The museum collections include some wonderful examples of the eccentric or the secret life of West Suffolk. Witchcraft has a long tradition in rural communities such as ours, and at Moyse's Hall Museum are a witches' puppet, witches' wands and witch bottles. The latter are Bellarmines filled with sharp objects, urine and perhaps human hair. They were buried within a house as protection, for it was supposed that any witch venturing near would be trapped in the bottle. Old houses undergoing restoration often are found to contain mummified cats and several from Fakenham Magna and Debenham are on display - again part of a tradition of placing good luck charms within the fabric of houses.

And what other enthusiasms and great ideas have stood the test of time insofar as Moyse's Hall has found a home for them? The gigantic slab of coal (reputedly the largest individual lump then mined) used as a trader's sign? Or perhaps the turtle shell that served as a shop sign in the town centre at Cupola House? Or perhaps pride of place should go to the model of a medieval church made entirely of snail shells? Everybody has their favourite exhibit at Moyse's Hall Museum, and whichever is yours, there is a good Suffolk expression for it: "Thass a rummun!"