Serving the communities of Bures St Mary and Bures Hamlet



St Mary`s Church Tower Fire


It is well documented that in 1733 the tower was struck by lightning.
The fire was so severe, the heat melted some of the bells.

The Tower was restored by 1863, some 130 years later.

Did the tower catch fire again in November 2005 ?


First of two photographs of St Mary Church Bures Suffolk taken on Tuesday by John Manning on 29th November 2005 at 20.28 pm.
This clearly shows what appears to be "smoke" surrounding the bell tower.
Coincidentally, the bell ringers were in the tower for their normal practice session that evening.
The automatic flash operated and the church was floodlit.

The "smoke" was not visible through the camera rear preview screen.
John the photographer, was not smoking and was totally alone at this time.
The evening was clear, no mist or fog.


One minute later took the second photograph in exactly the same position and
under the same conditions.

This would have been at 20.29 on Tuesday 29th November 2005.

As you can see, there is no sign of "aurora" and it remains a mystery to John as to how this came about

John checked with Ringing Master, Don Mills who confirmed that the normal
practice was going on that evening from 1900 - 2100hrs and nothing ountoward was experienced in the tower

Material supplied by John Manning,
Material supplied by John Manning who lived in Bures from 1940 to 1952 and now lives in Holmfirth West Yorkshire