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Parish Church of St Mary and St Helena

A Grade I Listed Building in Elstow, Bedford

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.1149 / 52°6'53"N

Longitude: -0.4693 / 0°28'9"W

OS Eastings: 504907

OS Northings: 247396

OS Grid: TL049473

Mapcode National: GBR G2C.85D

Mapcode Global: VHFQF.T37J

Entry Name: Parish Church of St Mary and St Helena

Location: Elstow, Bedford, MK42

County: Bedford

Parish: Elstow

Traditional County: Bedfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Bedfordshire

Listing Date: 13 July 1964

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

English Heritage Legacy ID: 36697

Source ID: 1114168

Listing Text


TL 0447 ELSTOW CHURCH END

8/60 Parish Church of St Mary
and St Helena
13.7.64
GV I

Parish church, formerly part of Abbey church belonging to Benedictine nunnery
founded c.1078 by Countess Judith of Huntingdon (niece of William I). Early
C12, C13, C15 and late C16. Extensively reworked 1881 by T. J. Jackson of
Bedford. Coursed rubble with ashlar dressings. Nave and aisles (also serving
as a chancel and chapels) and S vestry. 5 bay nave and aisles: these are nave
and aisles of Abbey church, E end being blocking wall dating from Dissolution
inserted in last bay before crossing (springing of arcades Eastwards still
visible). 3 bays to E have plain early C12 arcades with semi-circular arches
on rectangular piers with square moulded abaci. 2 bays to W have early C13
arcades with pointed arches, the NE one with dog-tooth decoration.
Clerestory, rebuilt 1881, has 6 windows each side, 3 to E round-headed, 3 to W
pointed-arched. All E windows are 1881 reworking. 1881 3-light pointed-
arched windows to aisles. 1881 Norman style N doorway, surmounted by c.l120
panel showing Christ flanked by Sts Peter and John, framed by columns
supporting round-headed arch. S aisle has C15 doorway above which is 2-light
square-headed window. W elevation dates from early C13. Pointed-arched
central doorway, surmounted by C15 square label. Above this is C16 4-light
window with square head. Doorway to L (N aisle) also pointed-arched, with
original lancet above. Stair turret to SW angle. S vestry: originally the
early C13 outer parlour. Square room with central octagonal pier, carrying
unusual 4-bay rib vault, some ribs breaking through into adjoining bay.
Interior: C15 octagonal font in N aisle, with traceried panels and one plain
side. Brasses include one to Margery Argentine, d.1427, and one to Elizabeth
Herwy, Abbess of Elstow, d.l527. Monuments include: one of alabaster in E
wall with kneeling figures of Humphrey Radcliffe (d.1566) and his wife Isabel
Harvey, facing each other and flanked by doric columns; one of marble to
Thomas Hillersdon, d.1656, in S aisle wall; another, also in S aisle, to John
Hillersdon, d.1684.


Listing NGR: TL0490747396

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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