Pictures of Elstow
This pleasant village, with many thatched cottages and houses, was the birthplace of the writer of Pilgrim's Progress - John Bunyan was born here and was baptised in the Church of St. Helena and St.Mary in the year 1628, his family are buried in the churchyard.
Elstow's fine Moot Hall is a building of 1500, this is a medieval market hall which is open to the public, it houses a collection illustrating John Bunyan's life and times. The Moot Hall has beautiful timbers and an overhanging upper floor which contains the main room. This, together with the parish church, overlooks the village green.
A nunnery was founded here by the sister of William the Conqueror, this is believed to have had its own gallows, pillory and ducking pond. Nothing now remains of the original nunnery buildings, save for what is used for the present day church which has parts dating back to the 11th century. Despite being much restored there remains fine Norman work to be seen, including vaulting. The church with it's detached bell-tower of the 15th century has much to interest the visitor, there is a large Perpendicular font, this is octagonal, decorated with quatrefoils on the bowl and figures to the base. The wooden pulpit is of the same period, this has intricate carved panels, and there are interesting monuments from many periods.
Elstow lies surrounded by rich agricultural lands, it has a good mix of old and new properties, is within easy reach of many other delightful Bedfordshire villages, with the town of Bedford and its interesting museum lying a few miles north of this attractive village.
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