Home   Bury St Edmunds   News   Article

Subscribe Now

The abandoned A143 route, off Orttewell Road, in Bury St Edmunds, which used to connect town with Great Barton





It lies dormant and forgotten.

Hundreds of motorists in Orttewell Road, Bury St Edmunds, will pass it every day and not realise its significance.

Just off the key route lies the entrance to what used to be a road connecting Bury with Great Barton.

The entrance to the abandoned A143, off Orttewell Road, Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Martyna Wiecha
The entrance to the abandoned A143, off Orttewell Road, Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Martyna Wiecha
The road used to connect Bury and Great Barton
The road used to connect Bury and Great Barton

The old A143 – or ‘the Great Barton road’ as known by locals – is now gradually being consumed by nature and is lost to time.

It was recently featured on the Facebook page ‘Ghost roads – Abandoned, by-passed and roads to nowhere’ and generated memories for many.

One person said they believed the road closed in 1982 after the construction of Compiegne Way, which also cut off a big section of Hollow Road and saw the demolition of a couple of cottages near the Fornham St Martin A134 roundabout.

It is now consumed by nature
It is now consumed by nature
It is believed the road closed when Compiegne Way was built
It is believed the road closed when Compiegne Way was built

Another said it used to be a lovely straight stretch just after the bridge for overtaking slow traffic.

Faint road markings are all that remain – a whisper of its former use.

Although it is difficult to pinpoint the exact date the road was closed to traffic Roger Curtis, of Great Barton History Society, said the road was shut when he moved to the village four decades ago.

Echoes of its former life can be glimpsed with cat's eyes guiding the way
Echoes of its former life can be glimpsed with cat's eyes guiding the way
The end of the former road comes out to a signage marking the start of Bury
The end of the former road comes out to a signage marking the start of Bury

When the A143 Great Barton road closed a new route was built next to it.

Orttewell Road, which helped to link Compiegne Way to Bedingfeld Way, on the Moreton Hall estate, opened in 1987.

It was constructed to help attract more developers on to the estate.

However, this is not the only abandoned road in the area now being gradually consumed by nature.

The popular dog-walking path in Fornham St Martin, near Bury St Edmunds, was once part of the A134. Picture: Martyna Wiecha
The popular dog-walking path in Fornham St Martin, near Bury St Edmunds, was once part of the A134. Picture: Martyna Wiecha

Just a couple of miles north of Bury, in Fornham St Martin, lies a popular-dog walking path which was once a busy route that helped to connect Bury and Thetford.

Now, echoes of its former life can be glimpsed, with cat’s eyes guiding the way.

It is believed the road was closed in 1992 when a bypass was built.

Do you remember the roads? Comment below.