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St. Mary, Bletsoe, Bedfordshire


The church of St. Mary is an ancient cruciform structure, chiefly in the Decorated style, and was restored in 1868, at a cost of about £1,700: it consists of chancel, nave, north transept, or St. John chapel, small south transept, south porch and a central tower with plain parapet containing a clock and 6 bells, 5 of which were cast in 1786: an additional treble bell being hung on Easter Day, 1900, by the surviving children and families of Eleanor, widow of St. Andrew Beauchamp, 14th Baron St. John: there are three sedilia on the south side of the chancel, and a double piscina in the north transept, which also contains some fine monuments of the family of St. John, Earls of Bolingbroke; the first on the south wall consists of a panelled base, supporting two Corinthian columns, on which rests a slightly projecting flat canopy, surmounted by a quartered shield; within are kneeling figures of Sir John St. John, 1559, and Margaret (Waldegrave), his wife, and 9 children: on the east wall is another monument, elaborately carved with cornice, pediment and arms, to Frances, Countess Bolingbroke, 1673, and there are many others of the family down to 1887: there are also memorials to several of the late rectors, and to Arabella, wife of C. C. Vivian esq. 1673: in June, 1882, a reredos was erected to the memory of St. Andrew Beauchamp, 14th Baron St. John, d. 27 Jan. 1874: the east window was placed to the Rev. the Hon. Edmund Tudor St. John M.A. rector here 1881-84, who died 30 Sept. 1884, and there is another to St. Andrew, 15th baron, d. 2 Nov. 1887: the reredos occupies the whole width of the chancel, and under canopies on each side is an arcade of four arches: on the north wall of the nave is a painting of St. George and the Dragon: the organ cost £200: there are 190 sittings.

Church Records

The parish register dates from the year 1582.

St. Mary

Denomination:Church of England
Diocese:St. Albans