A large feudal barony, The Honour of Clare, one of the wealthiest in East Anglia was granted by William the Conqueror to Richard, son of Count Gilbert De Brionne. In medieval times this area of Bury was known as The Maydewater (The River Linnet aka Maidwater) part of the Honour yet curiously within the town boundary known as The Banleuca. The 9th lord of Clare, Gilbert De Clare held land here and in nearby Friars Lane.
The River Linnet often flooded, dredging in recent years has minimalised it though. A dubious 1960’s award winning row of houses at the time built for police cadets were to suffer from severe damp problems which would ultimately lead to their closure. They are now refurbished and looking far better than they ever did! Nearby was the Southgate Brewery which in 1820 backed onto the Linnet. It was owned in 1855 by Henry Braddock who also had a valuable portfolio of eleven public houses. When he died in 1868 Edward Greene purchased it for £7,000 to stop it falling into the hands of arch-rival Fred King. Edward promptly demolished it, the barren site used later on in the 20thC as The Linnet Service Station; a new development called Regency Place is there now. On the corner with Southgate Street was Southbridge House owned at one time by William Pead, Edward Greene’s manager of GK in the late 19thC. it was demolished to widen the corner into Maynewater Lane in 1970. The sixteen cottages of Maynewater Square were built by Edward Greene in 1868 for his brewery workers. Adjacent is Bath Cottage so named because at its rear was the first public swimming baths in Bury, now gone. The instigator of these in 1870 was Lot Jackaman builder of the Corn Exchange and Bath Cottage who supposedly had gleaned this idea after a visit to Germany.
The text on this page is taken from page 50 of the book written by Martyn Taylor, published by Amberly Publishing 2016.
If you wish to continue the journey through the streets A to Z of Bury St Edmunds, or indeed read more about the history of Bury St Edmunds, you can purchase Martyn’s book from St Edmundsbury Cathedral shop, Waterstones and Moyses Hall.
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