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Books: Bury's AM Howell shares her local treasures




Ann-Marie Howell_high res_landscape_credit_Nick Ilott Photography (44943719)
Ann-Marie Howell_high res_landscape_credit_Nick Ilott Photography (44943719)

In the first of a new series, award-winning children’s novelist A M Howell, who lives in Bury St Edmunds, tells us about the local treasures - from architecture and artefacts to places to walk, shop and dine out - which make our area an endless source of inspiration

Moyse's Hall clock (44928402)
Moyse's Hall clock (44928402)

Artefact: The magnificent collection of clocks in Moyse’s Hall Museum in Bury St Edmunds. Once owned by Frederic Gershom Parkington, they provided the inspiration for my second book, The House of One Hundred Clocks.

Artwork: A print of the 1776 Thomas Warren Map of Bury St Edmunds we have on our living room wall. It was the first picture we bought and put up in our new home.

Sitting on the wall outside King's, watching the world go by (44928399)
Sitting on the wall outside King's, watching the world go by (44928399)

Coffee spot: Sitting on the low wall outside King’s College in Cambridge and watching the world go by. I’ve found a good way of getting ideas for characters in my stories is by people-watching and overhearing snippets of conversations.

Eaterie: No. 4 restaurant and bar at the Abbeygate Cinema. It’s a fantastic place to have a meal or drink whether you are seeing a film or not. Their cakes and coconut and cranberry cookies are to die for!

Shop: This has to be a tie between the Waterstones bookshops in Bury St Edmunds and in Cambridge. I can spend hours browsing the shelves and the staff are super friendly too.

Ickworth House (44928405)
Ickworth House (44928405)

Indulgence: A coffee at Ickworth House’s West Wing cafe, while lounging in a wicker chair overlooking the gardens and reading a good book. It’s one of my favourite places to relax in West Suffolk.

The cupola that gives Cupola House its name was one of the features Seamans had to have recreated. (44928503)
The cupola that gives Cupola House its name was one of the features Seamans had to have recreated. (44928503)

Building: Cupola House on The Traverse in Bury St Edmunds which was once owned by a prosperous seventeenth century apothecary. The incredible rooftop cupola inspired my third children’s book, Mystery of the Night Watchers, published in July 2021.

Looking across the Cambridge Backs to King's College's iconic chapel (44928408)
Looking across the Cambridge Backs to King's College's iconic chapel (44928408)

Walk: Across The Backs in Cambridge from Newnham to the City Centre. I walked that way to work when I lived in Cambridge and used to pinch myself that it was my daily commute.

View across the Bury St Edmunds rooftops to the cathedral (44928464)
View across the Bury St Edmunds rooftops to the cathedral (44928464)

View: The view of Bury St Edmunds rooftops and the Cathedral from Church Walks in Bury St Edmunds. This street is a hidden gem and always lifts our spirits on our daily lockdown walks.

The House of One Hundred Clocks, out now, won the 2020 Mal Peet Children’s Book Award and the East Anglian Book Award. A.M. Howell’s new novel, Mystery of the Night Watchers, publishes July 8 2021. Both Usborne.


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