BEDFORD ST. PETER DE MERTON
[Transcribed and edited information from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868]
"BEDFORD ST. PETER DE MERTON, a parish in the town of Bedford."
[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868]
"BRICKHILL, 2 single houses in the parish of Bedford St. Peter De Merton,
1½ miles north of Bedford."
by Colin Hinson ©2003
- The following Churches have their own websites:
- Church of England
The church of St. Peter, on the north side of St. Peters green, is a
building of stone, consisting of chancel with vestry; nave, aisles, west
porch and a low central embattled tower containing a clock and 6 bells:
the church was originally outside the walls of the tower of Bedford, and
was called "St. Peter's-in-the-Fields," and also St, Peter de Merton, in
order to distinguish it from St. Peters de Dunstable, which stood below
the bridge, in what is now St. Mary's square: the Norman south doorway of
this church is said to have belonged to the latter; the tower, of rubble
and cement, is undoubtedly Saxon, and affords fine examples of long and
short work; the circular arch, a Norman feature, was, however, added to
the upper part of the tower some years ago, and belfry windows, copied from
St. Mary's, were introduced on three sides of the tower: the effects of the
fire when the church was partly burnt by the Danes in 1010 may be seen,
especially on the east side of the tower, many of the stones having become
calcined, cracked, and of the colour of brick: the foundation, and much of
the north wall of the chancel is also Saxon: it originally ended in an apse,
but on its restoration during the Early English period the area was reduced
and a triple lancet window inserted, for which the present Decorated east
window was substituted when Dr. Hunt was rector: the church was enlarged in
1846 and again in 1853: the north aisle was lengthened westward in 1882, and
the organ chamber and vestry and a bell turret built in 1883: the south aisle
was lengthened in 1885: the stained east window is a memorial to Mrs. Chapple
and her son, and was the gift of John Chapple esq., of St. Albans, clerk of
the works at St. Albans Cathedral, Herts, during its restoration by the late
Sir G. Gilbert Scott B.A. : the three other windows are also stained: there
are sittings for about 600 persons. The register dates from the year 1572.
The living is a rectory, rent-charge £5, yearly value £600, with residence,
in the gift of the Lord Chancellor, and held since 1871 by the Rev. William
Hart-Smith M.A. of Brasenose College, Oxford, rural dean of Bedford and surrogate.
[Kelly's Directory - Bedfordshire - 1898]
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[Last updated at 11.29 on Wednesday, 22 February 2012, by Colin Hinson. ©2010]