Serving the communities of Bures St Mary and Bures Hamlet


Bures Common Land



Bures Common or the "Common Land" dates back to 14th century.
Extracts from the Parsonage Court Rolls quotes

circa 1503:- "and order that nobody shall put any dung in the Common stream......"

circa 1504:- "and all those with rights of common on the Essex Common are ordered
to ring all their pigs of which are commoning or depasturing there......"

(Acknowledgment to Leigh Alston, Bures Historian)

Local residents raised the required funds to purchase the land on the Essex Knoll known as the Meadow or Common.

Bures Common Appeal
(May 2011)
The appeal has been an amazing success! It is truly heartening to find that so many people are willing to contribute to the restoration of Bures Common to the village." Support has come from well over a hundred people aged from 20 to more than 90, with individual pledges ranging from £5 to £5,000.

The sales negotiation process was fraught and drawn out due to a succession of ever-increasing bids from developers and private purchasers. Fortunately we were not part of the bidding war as our involvement may have pushed the price even higher. After the submission of final offers, we were offered the field if we could match the highest commercial bid of £87,500 and complete the transaction within 28 days. Due to the strength of positive feeling in the village, and the willingness to back that feeling with pledges, the offer was accepted.

On the recommendation of our solicitors, a limited company called 'Bures Common Land' ( see below)has been established as a vehicle to buy the meadow before the vendor's deadline.This new charity will be seeking registration with the Charity Commission.
The charity intends to make the land-freely accessible to everyone, to maintain it for the public benefit and to encourage community involvement. The charity will also consider whether to enhance the site by providing a small landing stage, picnic tables and other unobtrusive features.


The prime objective of the Charity during the period to 31 May 2012 was met by the acquisition of Bures Common.
The purchase was achieved against fierce competition. The purchase price of £87,500 and associated legal and other costs was met by public donations together with a grant of £10,000 from the Big Society Fund

Objectives and Activities
The objects of the Charity are:

(a) To provide, improve and/or maintain, and own land in Bures, in particular Bures Common, to be used as an area of recreation or other leisure time occupation by the public at large with the object of improving their conditions of life in the interests of social welfare and for the benefit of the public.

(b) To conserve and advance public education in historical matters relating to the heritage of England in general and of Bures Common, Bures St Mary (Suffolk) and Bures Hamlet in particular.

(c) To advance citizenship through the promotion of volunteering and of the voluntary sector for the benefit of the public at large and in particular in Bures and the surrounding areas including but not limited to supporting local community based groups to maintain open spaces for the benefit of the public to be used as areas of information, recreation or other leisure activities

Bures Meadow taken from Station Road

Residential and business properties on this land demolished
mid 1900
Map dated 1898, indicates one of these properties was an "Inn"

Bures Common Land 1914
See enlarged view, right side of photograph >>>

Cow Shed

Bures Meadow taken from the roadbridge

Bures Common taken from the Suffolk side of the river

Another image of the meadow.
The shop in the centre of the meadow
would have been "Meggs Butchers"

For the full story of the Grand Opening see:
Acknowledgement to Elliot Furniss, EADT reporter

Additional Link to BBC Look East

Photos by Alan Beales, apart from the ceremonial opening courtesy of EADT

Company details for BURES COMMON LAND (Registered No 07641153)
Incorporation Date: 19-05-2011
Type: Private Limited by guarantee without Share Capital Exempt from using Limited
Accounts Type: Not available
Status: Active

Directors, as of May 2018

L.A. Alston (Chairman)
Mr C. Aldous
Mr D Ambrose

Ms C. Holbrook (Treasurer)
Ms G.R. Jackson (Secretary)
Mr A. Ryman

Company Secretary
Ms G.R. Jackson

Total funds avaialble May 2018 :- £111,723.000


Download the 2018 Company Accounts



Members representing the two Parishes

Michael Seymour (Suffolk)
David Lee (Essex)



Residents in Bures, on the Suffolk/Essex border, collected the required £87,500 within three weeks of launching an appeal last month.
The common has now been purchased by the Bures Common Land charitable company.
Trustee Leigh Alston, a village historian and a lecturer at Cambridge University, said donations had came from more than 200 households - about a third of the population - and ranged from £5 to four-figure sums.
He said: "We did not apply for local authority funding but have been promised a £10,000 grant from the Big Society Fund. This money, and any other in excess of the purchase price, will be used to maintain the land and restore the 19th Century barn on the site."
Mr Alston said donations had also come from further afield after the campaign was featured in the East Anglian Daily Times.
The common is now being cleared and will be officially opened at 5pm on June 25, while a traditional Michaelmas fair is planned for later in the year.

Acknowledgement to Elliot Furniss, EADT reporter
Wyldes Noyse

Wyldes Noyse performing at the public opening of Bures Common, June 2011
— with Lizzie Gutteridge, Chris Gutteridge and Jayne Gutteridge.

Updated 31/12/2016