List entry

List entry Summary

This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.


List entry Number: 1114168



The building may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County District District Type Parish
BedfordUnitary AuthorityElstow

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: I

Date first listed: 13-Jul-1964

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: LBS

UID: 36697

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Building

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Reasons for Designation

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8/60 Parish Church of St Mary and St Helena 13.7.64 GV I

Parish church, formerly part of Abbey church belonging to Benedictine nunnery founded c.1078 by Countess Judith of Huntingdon (niece of William I). Early C12, C13, C15 and late C16. Extensively reworked 1881 by T. J. Jackson of Bedford. Coursed rubble with ashlar dressings. Nave and aisles (also serving as a chancel and chapels) and S vestry. 5 bay nave and aisles: these are nave and aisles of Abbey church, E end being blocking wall dating from Dissolution inserted in last bay before crossing (springing of arcades Eastwards still visible). 3 bays to E have plain early C12 arcades with semi-circular arches on rectangular piers with square moulded abaci. 2 bays to W have early C13 arcades with pointed arches, the NE one with dog-tooth decoration. Clerestory, rebuilt 1881, has 6 windows each side, 3 to E round-headed, 3 to W pointed-arched. All E windows are 1881 reworking. 1881 3-light pointed- arched windows to aisles. 1881 Norman style N doorway, surmounted by c.l120 panel showing Christ flanked by Sts Peter and John, framed by columns supporting round-headed arch. S aisle has C15 doorway above which is 2-light square-headed window. W elevation dates from early C13. Pointed-arched central doorway, surmounted by C15 square label. Above this is C16 4-light window with square head. Doorway to L (N aisle) also pointed-arched, with original lancet above. Stair turret to SW angle. S vestry: originally the early C13 outer parlour. Square room with central octagonal pier, carrying unusual 4-bay rib vault, some ribs breaking through into adjoining bay. Interior: C15 octagonal font in N aisle, with traceried panels and one plain side. Brasses include one to Margery Argentine, d.1427, and one to Elizabeth Herwy, Abbess of Elstow, d.l527. Monuments include: one of alabaster in E wall with kneeling figures of Humphrey Radcliffe (d.1566) and his wife Isabel Harvey, facing each other and flanked by doric columns; one of marble to Thomas Hillersdon, d.1656, in S aisle wall; another, also in S aisle, to John Hillersdon, d.1684.

Listing NGR: TL0490747396

Selected Sources

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National Grid Reference: TL 04907 47396


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This copy shows the entry on 30-Aug-2015 at 10:52:13.