Suffolk’s history told by you A Local History Archive

This social history archive includes personal stories submitted by the public during Guildhall community projects and research by local historians relating to the experiences of individuals that lived in Suffolk during key historical events throughout the last 800 years. The archive is focused on moments that unfolded in and around the Bury St Edmunds Guildhall – a building that has remained standing through nearly a millennium of change.

If you have a story to tell – whether it relates to the content in the archive or it’s a personal memory of the Guildhall – we would love to hear from you.

Love & War in Suffolk Exhibition

The Bury St Edmunds Guildhall hosted a free exhibition in April 2023, ‘Love & War in Suffolk’, which explored the impact that the Second World War had on romantic relationships in Suffolk. It centered around local stories from the public and included personal objects, testimonies, photographs, love letters and diaries. The stories collected tell the tale of enduring love, loss and separation, fleeting affairs, and romances beyond convention.

ROC 14TH Group Stories from the Guildhall

The Guildhall contains the country’s only surviving World War Two Royal Observer Corps (ROC) Operations Room. The Operations Room, situated on the first floor of the building, was occupied by the ROC 14th Group from 1939 to 1945. The archive presents the stories of some of the extraordinary individuals that worked tirelessly in the Operations Room during this momentous event in Britain’s history.