DEDICATION of St Mary`s Church
In a Charter dated 1075, Waleran Fitzranulph or Fitzralph, grants
". . . the church of St. Mary, which is mine in Buri"
to Caen Abbey. If this "Buri" refers to our own village,
as stated by the British Museum, and strengthened by the fact that
the Fitzralphs owned land in the district, and have their coat of
arms on the font, it is evidence that a church dedicated to St.
Mary, existed in Bures in 1075, before Domesday.
If the earliest church on the site
were dedicated to St. Mary, for some unknown reason, and at some
unknown date, the dedication was changed to that of All Saints.
This may possibly have occurred when the original church was replaced
by our present church in the late 13th and early 14th centuries,
though it would have been unusual procedure.
In the 15th and 16th centuries, a number of testators specified
that they were to be buried in the churchyard of "All Saints"
church of Bures.
Some specified the churchyard of "All Saints of Bures St. Mary",
indicating that, at that time, the suffix "St. Mary" bore
no reference to the church, but only to the village.
It is, however, conceivable that, if the first church referred to
in 1075, had been dedicated to St. Mary, the village may have retained
the appellation "St. Mary" from that date. It is not known
when or why, the
church later lost its dedication to All Saints, and assumed, or,
possibly re-assumed its dedication to St. Mary.
But dedications tended to fall into disuse around the reigns of
Edward 6th (1547-1553), and Elizabeth (1558-1603), and to be revived
again under the influence of the religious revival in the early
If the All Saints dedication were genuinely forgotten, after a period
of about 200 years, it would be very natural to assume that, because
the village was called Bures St. Mary, the church must have been
dedicated to St. Mary.
But whether the present church has ever actually been so dedicated
is a matter for speculation.
Extracted from booklet:- The Church
of St Mary The Virgin Bures, Suffolk
Available at the Church Bookstall