This paper argues that the earliest church at Beodericisworth, the later Bury St Edmunds, was dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Probably in the reign of Athelstan, the (supposed) body of St Edmund, king and martyr, was translated into this church. The cult of St Edmund burgeoned and before the end of the eleventh century St Edmund's shrine had become one of England's foremost pilgrim centres and attracted the wealth which helped pay for the great Romanesque church built to house it. Nevertheless, a wide variety of sources, both written and visual, demonstrate that the cult of St Mary retained much vitality, becoming the pre-eminent secondary cult in Bury St Edmunds, one especially fostered by Abbot Anselm (1121–48). Finally, similar examples are cited of other churches where dedications to saints like St Mary, who enjoyed widespread veneration, were replaced by those of saints of more local fame but whose (supposed) bodies those churches possessed.