Skip Navigation

Welcome to Bedford Borough Council

Home > Community Histories > Linslade > Saint Marys Church Architecture

Saint Marys Church Architecture

Saint Marys from the north May 2008
Saint Mary's from the north May 2008

Saint Mary's church was, like the rest of Linslade until 1965, in Buckinghamshire and thus formed part of the Diocese of Oxford. On the transfer of Linslade to Bedfordshire the ecclesiastical parish remained in Oxford Diocese until transferring to the Diocese of St.Albans in 2008. Thus Bedfordshire & Luton Archives & Records Service has no parish records for Linslade, they are at The Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies in Aylesbury. The following information is taken from former County Archivist Chris Pickford's Bedfordshire Historical Records Series volume Bedfordshire Churches in the 19th Century: Appendices.

 Saint Marys interior looking east May 2008
Saint Mary's interior looking east May 2008

It seems reasonable to assume that an Anglo-Saxon church stood either on or near the site of the current building as Linslade was certainly in existence by 966, as demonstrated by the Anglo-Saxon charter for the parish. The oldest part of the church, a simple building consisting of tower, nave and chancel, is the chancel arch, which is Norman, from the 12th century and the walls of the nave may include some 12th century work.

Saint Marys chancel arch May 2008
Saint Mary's chancel arch May 2008

The font is late Norman and there is a 13th century seat in the chancel. The west tower is 15th century as is the window tracery in both the nave and chancel, the screen and south porch. It is odd that the church has so much 15th century work as, by then, Old Linslade was little or no bigger than today, having becomedepopulated during the 14th century. The main centre of population was then Southcott, some three miles south. The best explanation seems to be that the Manor of Linslade was reinvigorated in some way around that time, by the Lucy family as tenants of the overlords the Dukes of Norfolk, and the Lord decided to rebuild the church.

Saint Marys from the west October 2008
Saint Mary's from the west October 2008