The monastic remains in Bedfordshire include the fine fragment of the church of the Augustinian priory at Dunstable, serving as the parish church; the church (also imperfect) of Elstow near Bedford, which belonged to a Benedictine nunnery founded by Judith, niece of William the Conqueror; and portions of the Gilbertine Chicksands Priory and of a Cistercian foundation at Old Warden.
Fine Norman and Early English work is seen at Dunstable and Elstow, and the later style is illustrated by the large cruciform churches at Leighton Buzzard and at Felmersham on the Ouse above Bedford.
JOHN BUNYAN (1628-1688), English religious writer, was born at Elstow, about a mile from Bedford, in November 1628.
He declares, it is true, that he had let loose the reins on the neck of his lusts, that he had delighted in all transgressions against the divine law, and that he had been the ringleader of the youth of Elstow in all manner of vice.
He enlisted in the Parliamentary army, 2 and served 1 The name, in various forms as Buignon, Buniun, Bonyon or Binyan, appears in the local records of Elstow and the neighbouring parishes at intervals from as far back as 1199.
Thomas Bunyan had a forge and workshop at Elstow.
All Elstow talked of him as an eminently pious youth.
He was tempted to cry to the puddles between Elstow and Bedford, "Be ye dry," and to stake his eternal hopes on the event.
Elstow Storage Dept, in the outskirts of Bedford, had a massive blaze which took more than twenty-four hours to contain.
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