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Husbourne Crawley, Bedfordhire, England

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The parish church of ST. MARY consists of a chancel 29 ft. 4 in. by 18½ ft., a nave 34 ft. by 19 ft. 4 in., north aisle 10½ ft. wide, south aisle 9½ ft. wide, south porch, and west tower 12½ ft. by 14 ft. The south arcade of the nave is 13th-century work, and the aisle walls are perhaps of this date or rebuilt c. 1330; the chancel seems to be 14th-century work, though much altered; the north arcade and aisle seem entirely of the 15th century, as does the tower, and the south porch may be c. 1500. There are traces of a wooden north porch. The materials of the church are, in the tower and north aisle and in parts of the chancel, a dark brown stone mixed with a peculiar deep green stone, making a very effective and unusual combination. The south aisle is built of small thin stones. The exterior of the church has been mended up in Roman cement, which still covers most of the stonework details. The chancel walls have been thrust out of the perpendicular by the roof, which is of fairly steep pitch and covered with modern slates. The east window has a square head and three cinquefoiled lights of 15th-century work fitted to the jambs of a 14th-century window which had a pointed head, and near it on the south side is a two-light window with divisions of repaired tracery. At the south-west is a square-headed 15th-century window of two cinquefoiled lights, to the east of which is a blocked doorway, and opposite is an uncusped two-light window, probably of the 17th century. The piscina has a pointed trefoiled head, and east of it is a plain square recess. In the north-east corner of the chancel, against a blocked window, is an alabaster tomb with effigies of John Thompson and his wife Dorothy; he was an auditor of the Exchequer. The west wall of the chancel was probably destroyed when the rood loft was fitted up, and there is now a modern arch. The nave has a north arcade of three 16th-century bays with octagonal piers and responds with moulded capitals; to the east is a corbel which once supported the rood loft, and on one of the columns is a small bracket. The south arcade is of three bays with octagonal shafts and moulded capitals, which are perhaps not original, and to the east are the blocked doorways of the rood loft. The tower arch is in three orders, the inner resting on half-octagonal shafts with foliate capitals.

Husborne Crawley
is a small village and civil parish in Bedfordshire, located close to Junction 13 of the M1 motorway. The village touches the borders of the Woburn Abbey estate on one side, and the village of Aspley Guise on the other. It has a small church and a primary school, and a nineteenth-century manor house in its own grounds, known as Crawley Park. The Crawley Park estate is privately owned, and features some extremely well preserved wooden-framed mediaeval cottages.It is a parish in the hundred of Manshead, in the county of Bedford, 2½ miles north of Woburn, its post town, where there is a station on the North Western line, and 5 from Ampthill. It is situated near Crawley Brook, which runs into the river Ouzel. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Ely, value £46, in the patronage of the Duke of Bedford. The tithes were commuted in 1795. The church is dedicated to St. Mary Magdalene. The charities amount to £112 per annum. Crawley Nether and Crawley Green are places here.

The village lies between Ridgmont and Woburn,on the high road which skirts Woburn Park. There are two or three examples of half-timber and thatched cottages, but generally speaking the village is modern. The mill has disappeared, and its memory only survives in the name of Crawley Mill Farm, which now forms a portion of the Woburn Experimental Farm. The church is situated about half a mile to the north of the village, on the road to Aspley Guise. This portion of the village is known as Church End, and consists of several farms and cottages, with a Methodist chapel. By the cross roads at this spot is the entrance to the grounds of Crawley House, through which a right of way exists to Aspley Guise.

Opposite the entrance to the park is the Manor Farm, past which a road leads north, leaving Crawley Hall on the west. It is a modest Georgian building, formerly known as Crawley Farm, and is rented by Mrs. Bowen from the Duke of Bedford.

The open country in the north of the parish isfarmed by the Charity and Redfield Farms, and is crossed by the Bedford branch of the London and North-Western Railway, on which Ridgmont stationin this parish is situated.

See Map of Bedfordshireshire

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   Last modified: December 03, 2012