Thinking of moving to Elstow? Here is some information on the Village

Elstow Man and Van

Elstow [1] is a village and civil parish in the English county of Bedfordshire.

John Bunyan, was born here – at Bunyan’s End, which lay approximately halfway between the hamlet of Harrowden and Elstow’s High Street.


Countess Judith, niece of William the Conqueror, founded a Benedictine nunnery in Elstow in the year 1078. The Elstow nuns came from wealthy families and each came with an endowment of money and/or lands.

In 1538 Elstow Abbey was valued as being the eighth richest nunnery in England. On 26 August 1539, the Abbess was forced to surrender the Abbey, the manor of Elstow and all the Abbey’s other lands and estates throughout England, to King Henry VIII, as part of his Dissolution of the Monasteries.[2][3]

So large and significant was the Abbey at Elstow that, even after the dissolution, the building was being considered for elevation to cathedral status, but this never transpired.[citation needed]

Elstow Village Sign (2) - - 823234.jpg

South of the village, from 1942 to 1946, was the site of the munitions factory ROF Elstow, about which the author H.E.Bates wroteThe Tinkers of Elstow (1946)

Elstow today

The village and most of the populated part of Elstow parish are located inside Bedford‘s southern bypass, with the hamlet ofHarrowden lying just to the south-east of that road. Elstow is now, effectively, a suburb of Bedford with the old village now almost surrounded by 20th-century housing. But the original village – now a conservation area – remains intact, with some 13th–17th century buildings and a village green.