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Saint Swithuns Chapel Potton

There is tantalising evidence for a chapel in Potton dedicated to Saint Swithun. In 1373 Roger Smyth of Tempsford and Agnes, his wife, granted a messuage in Potton, which they had had from John Sneterle and Amabel, his wife to Thomas Gildepyndy and Master John Hamelyn of Potton, chaplain. This property was described as being between the property once owned by Sir John Baxter, chaplain on one side and the cemetery of Saint Swithun on the other side. It abutted on the “forum”, probably the market place and the river, probably Potton Brook. This suggests that the property had a considerable amount of ground with it and that it perhaps lay in Brook End.

The Victoria County History for Bedfordshire refers to an indenture of 1394 between Thomas Plantagenet, Duke of Gloucester and the Prior of Saint Andrew’s, Northampton, which held the church's advowson, in which the prior undertook to convey Potton church “with Saint Swinthun’s chapel there” to the abbess and convent of the Minoresses of the order of Saint Clare without Aldgate [London] for an annual payment of five marks – that is £3/6/8.

Finally a deed of the fourth year of Edward VI (1550 or 1551) conveyed to Robert Thomas and others the mansion known as the Brothered house of Potton with a garden, lately in the possession of the fraternity of Potton and a house in Horseley Street (today’s Horslow Street) lately occupied by Joan Awbrey, widow. A fraternity, or brotherhood, was a sort of club for gentlemen of the town, with the usual feasting and merriment, which also had their own chapel at which they attended services. Perhaps Saint Swithun’s was their chapel. Joan Awbrey’s house is described as being tenanted at the will of Potton church and the former chapel, presumably Saint Swithun’s, situated on Chapel Green.