ELSTOW: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1866.
[Transcribed information from The Imperial Gazatteer of England & Wales, 1866-9]
"ELSTOW, a parish and a village in the district and county of Bedford. The village stands on a branch of the North-western railway, 1¾ mile S by W of Bedford; and has a post-office under Bedford, and fairs on 15 May and 5 Nov. A Benedictine nunnery was founded here, in the time of William the Conqueror, by Judith, the Conqueror's niece, the Countess of Huntingdon; is said to have been very beautiful; and was called Helenstow, ultimately Elstow. John Bunyan, the author of the Pilgrim's Progress, was a native of this village; and his cottage, in a renovated condition, is still standing. The parish comprises 1,522 acres. Real property, £3,187. Pop., 618. Houses, 118. The property is all in one estate. The livinig is a vicarage in the diocese of Ely. value, £75. Patron, W. H. Whitbread, Esq. The church belonged to the nunnery; is Norman, with a steeple; has two brasses of 1427 and 1530; and was recently in disrepair. There are an Independent chapel, and charities £45."
[Description(s) transcribed by Craig Pickup ©2002]