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Bedford St Peter De Merton

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[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."

"BRICKHILL, 2 single houses in the parish of Bedford St. Peter De Merton, 1½ miles north of Bedford."

[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868]
by Colin Hinson ©2013



Church History

  • 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]

Church Records



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