Dunstable Priory was founded in 1131 and lasted until late in the Dissolution of the Monasteries.
In 1290 Queen Eleanor's cortege briefly stopped here on its way to London. In 1533 the annulment of the marriage of Henry VIII to Katherine of Aragon took place at Dunstable Priory - you might have thought this might put Dunstable in the King's good books but in 1540 - just six short years later - the Priory was closed down just like all the others.
Of the original Priory buildings little beyond the Church exists. One gatehouse stands closeby, but otherwise the bulk of the remains are that of St. Peters Church, which became Dunstable's Parish Church.
The magnificent west front dates to around 1240 and the tower is 15th Century. The Priory origins of the Church can clearly be seen in the arcading on the west front and elsewhere and the odd shape which gives away the fact that there was once much more here than remains today.
Photo - Andrew J. Müller
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