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Elstow Abbey in Autumn
Elstow Abbey and Green : October-November

Elstow Abbey was founded in 1078 by the Countess Judith, niece of William the Conqueror. It became one of the richer of the 106 Benedictine nunneries existing at the time and in its hey-day, in the fourteenth century, the building was twice its present size. The end of the Abbey came in 1539, as part of the dissolution of the monasteries.

By the time of Elizabeth I, the church itself had been reduced to its present dimensions, becoming the parish church of the village. The six Norman arches that still remain from the original building remind us of the Abbey’s long history of Christian worship.

Elstow is famous as the home of John Bunyan . He was baptised in our font in 1628 and as a child and young man he worshipped regularly in this abbey church. See History - John Bunyan on this website for further information.

If you have any questions about this website, or if you would like to contact someone at Elstow Abbey via e-mail, please use the
following link :

Elstow Abbey enquiries

... or use the 'Contact Us' form on the left of this page

Elstow Abbey in August
Elstow Abbey and Green in August

Elstow Abbey from the west
Elstow Abbey from the West
Elstow Abbey west path
Elstow Abbey west end pathway from gate

For information about St Michael's Church, Bedford (part of the Elstow Benefice) please see:

Elstow Abbey May Festival
Elstow Abbey May Festival 2016
See Picture Gallery for more photos of the event


Regular Sunday Worship at Elstow Abbey

  • 10.00am Holy Communion and Sunday school

    (4th Sunday Contemporary All-Age Worship)

  • 11.30am BCP Mattins

  • 6.30pm Evensong

    (4th Sunday - BCP Holy Communion)

Regular Weekday Activities at Elstow Abbey

  • Monday 10.00am Mothers and Toddlers (term time only)

    2.30pm Prayer Group

  • Tuesday 6.30pm Elstow Abbey Youth Group (term time only)

  • Wednesday 11.00am Coffee and soup

  • Thursday 11.00am Holy Communion

  • Friday 8.00pm Bell Ringing

  • Saturday 9.30am Iona Morning Prayer - Fr Paul Messam

  • 10.00am Open Church to book Weddings, Baptisms and general enquiries as well as for prayer.

Special Events (February and March) at Elstow Abbey

  • Saturday 25th February 7.30pm Friends of Elstow Abbey Concert Concert

  • Friday 4th March 10.30pm (St Michaels Bedford) Women’s World Day of Prayer

  • Ash Wednesday - 1st March

  • Wednesday 8th March (2.00pm and 7.30pm) Lent Course begins at Elstow

For the full calendar of events at Elstow Abbey, please look at the 'Google' on-line calendar via the link below

Google calendar for Elstow Abbey

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