Bedfordshire Local History Association

BLHA Autumn Event – Monday 26th October 2015

A visit to The Church of St Peter de Merton with St Cuthbert, Bedford      Monday 26th October 2015 from 2.30pm

Beyond the Green at the top end of Bedford’s High Street lies the parish church of St Peter’s, on a site where people have worshipped for over 1000 years.

An illustrated presentation will be followed by a brief introduction by Rosemary Evans, Head of the Friends of St Peter’s and enthusiastic researcher of the church’s history.  Masonry in the tower and chancel dating back to the late 10th or early 11th century is a reminder of the building’s great age, particular interest arising from Bedford’s position at the time of the creation of the Danelaw boundary.  There will be the opportunity to go up the turreted spiral staircase into the Ringers’ Chamber in the Saxon tower to see a unique runic stone (which bears no runes!) and, at ground level, the magnificent South doorway and other little known features of the church, extended by the Victorians from 1845 – 1885.  You will be at liberty to wander freely around the church and churchyard, which contains a rare well, older even than St Peter’s itself.

All visitors will be given a copy of ’A History & Guide for Visitors’ as they enter.  The afternoon will include a 35-40 minute presentation followed by a short discussion at the East End of the Church.  A visit to the Bell Tower for small groups that wish to go will be available (a rope extends up the spiral staircase).  There will be a bell-ringer available up the tower to answer questions regarding the bells and the runic stone in the Saxon doorway.  Refreshments may be taken while waiting a turn to visit the tower.

We hope you will be able to join us in what is going to be a fascinating afternoon. Please download the booking form here BLHA Autumn Event 2015

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