[From Samuel Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of England 1831.]

ELSTOW, a parish in the hundred of REDBORNESTOKE, county of BEDFORD, 1¼ mile (S. by w.) from Bedford, containing 548 inhabitants. The living is a discharged vicarage, in the archdeaconry of Bedford, and diocese of Lincoln, rated in the king's books at £7.9., endowed with £800 royal bounty, and in the patronage of William Henry Whitbread, Esq. The church, dedicated to St. Mary and St. Helen, a fine old structure in the Norman style, was formerly the conventual church, and is now, with its detached tower to the north-west, the only remains, of an abbey of Benedictine nuns, founded in the reign of William the Conqueror, by his niece, Judith, Countess of Huntingdon, to the honour of the Holy Trinity, St. Mary, and St. Helen; at the dissolution it contained an abbess and twenty-one nuns, whose annual revenue amounted to £325. 2.1. There are fairs for all sorts of cattle on May 14th and 15th, and November 5th and 6th. John Bunyan, author of the Pilgrim's Progress, was born here.

Photographs in and around Elstow

The Moot Hall, Elstow - click to see more  
The Moot Hall, Elstow - click to see more

The Elstow Moot Hall Museum is open 1-4 pm from April to the end of September on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays. They can also arrange to open at other times for group bookings. Telephone number; (UK) 01234 266889. Contact Address; Church End Elstow Bedfordshire MK42 9XT Location is on Elstow village green

Elstow St Mary & St Helena - click to see more