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Summary

THE BEDFORDSHIRE CHURCHES SERIES

This is to be a series of three volumes covering Bedfordshire churches in the nineteenth century. The volumes will contain descriptions of churches “on the eve of restoration” together with contemporary illustrations –most of which will be published for the first time.

For each church, there will be extracts from original records amplified by a commentary and explanatory footnotes. The main source material consists of:

  • 1. Extracts from church inventories – mainly 1822

  • 2. Antiquarian notes on churches by Archdeacon Bonney, c.1840

  • 3. Archdeacon Bonney’s visitation notebooks 1823-1839

  • 4. Articles on churches by W.A. – John Martin, the librarian at Woburn Abbey - 1845-1854

  • 5. Church descriptions by Sir Stephen Glynne 1830-1870

There is considerable value in having these key sources, with illustrations and commentary, in one place. The descriptions by Bonney and Glynne are purely factual, but John Martin’s articles, highlighting abuses and neglect, make colourful and at times controversial reading. Bonney’s visitation notes - and the supporting evidence from contemporary records such as churchwardens’ accounts – give a clear indication that church buildings were far from neglected in the opening decades of the nineteenth century. Together these sources document features that can still be seen today, and provide information on others that have been lost.

The aim has been to present the text of contemporary sources in their original state, to convey a feeling for the times as well as to provide information. It is recognised that most of the sources could have been condensed by editing - for instance the lists of registers in the glebe terriers and the quotations in the articles by W.A. – but the Editorial Group felt that they should nevertheless be published in extenso.

The introductory commentary for each church includes a summary of the history of the building, focusing especially on eighteenth and nineteenth century restoration and alterations. These introductory notes are generally brief, but may be longer where differences between present and past external appearance merit detailed discussion. Detailed footnotes explain and amplify features mentioned in the text of the original sources and so lead the reader to additional research material.

Type
Chapter
Information
Bedfordshire Churches in the Nineteenth Century
Part 1 Parishes A to G
, pp. viii - x
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
First published in: 2023

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