"ELSTOW, a parish in the hundred of Redbornestoke, county Bedford, 1 mile south of Bedford, its post town and railway station. It is situated on a tributary of the river Ouse, and the Luton road passes through the village. An abbey or nunnery was founded here by Judith, niece of William I., of which there are still some traces. At the Dissolution its revenue amounted to £325 2s. 1d. The soil is a mixture of clay and gravel. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Ely, value £75. The church, originally the conventual church of the abbey, is an ancient structure in the Norman style of architecture, with lofty tower and steeple. It is dedicated to St. Helen, and contains several ancient monuments, tablets, and brasses. The parochial charities produce nearly £50 per annum. The Independents have a chapel. This was the birthplace of John Bunyan, author of "The Pilgrim's Progress." His cottage and forge is still shown. Elstow House is the principal residence. W. H. Whitbread, Esq., is lord of the manor."