Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Dunstable Priory (Dunstable)

Dunstable Priory is a quite magnificent and historic church at Dunstable in Bedfordshire, at the strategic point where Watling Street crosses the Icknield Way.

Now the town`s St. Peter`s Church, it is the nave of Dunstable Priory, which was founded for the Augustinians by Henry I in 1132.

It was at Dunstable Priory that the divorce proceedings between Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon were held, culminating in Cranmer`s pronouncement that they were divorced.

Most of the priory was demolished at the Dissoloution of the Monasteries, but the nave was claimed by the town as its parish church, having already been given to the town in 1392.

The West Front is Norman, but assymetrical and damaged over the centuries. The West towers fell down in 1222 and were not replaced, while the tower was added in the 15th century.

There is good modern glass by John Hayward, from 1972.

The only other significant remains of the priory are a 15th century gateway.

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