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St Peter, Cranfield, Bedfordshire

(52°4′5″N, 0°36′24″W)
SP 956 420
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Bedfordshire
now Bedfordshire
  • Hazel Gardiner

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Feature Sets

The church has chancel with N vestry, nave with clerestorey and N and S aisles, and W tower. It is substantially 13thc., apart from the chancel and vestry which are 14thc. There is some modern work in the chancel. Some 12thc. masonry survives in the nave and 12thc. sculpture is found on the reset N doorway and on a carved panel set into the exterior S wall.


The Domesday Survey does not mention a church at Cranfield, but records that the manor was held by Ramsey Abbey (Huntingdonshire). VCH states that Ramsey Abbey held the manor prior to 1066, and this was confirmed by William I in 1078 and by Pope Alexander III in 1178. (VCH, 276). VCH also records that the church was granted by Abbot Walter of Ramsey (1133-60) to Godfrey the Priest. (VCH, 278)


Exterior Features


Exterior Decoration


The carved panel may have formed part of the shaft of a cross and probably represents St Peter.

An etching by Fisher of 1815, shows the R capital of the N doorway with a multi-lobed leaf on its E face, but only a plain leaf, perhaps a restoration, is now in evidence. The mouldings and carvings on the doorway indicate a date in the late 12thc. for the doorway.

Domesday Book: Bedfordshire, Ed. J. Morris, Chichester, 1977, 8, 1.
The Victoria County History: A History of the County of Bedford, London, 1912, 3:277-79.
T. Fisher, Collections, Historical, Genealogical and Topographical for Bedfordshire, London, 1812–1836.
Cranfield Church Guide, Cranfield Rectory Press, 1991.
N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England, Bedfordshire and the County of Huntingdon and Peterborough, London, 1968, 73.