Flitton Church, Bedfordshire

This tiny little Bedfordshire village is graced with a nationally important church, or rather the Mausoleum attached to it.

 There seems to have been a church in Flitton from the Saxon period, but the dark brown standstone church which stands today was built almost entirely between 1450 and 1490 – a very quick construction period for those days. The stone seems to have been quarried on Flitton Hill nearby which may account for the speed of construction. Edmund, Lord Grey of Ruthin – later Earl of Kent – paid for the church to be built and the De Grey family have been the dominant force in the church’s life since – their stately home, Wrest Park, stands close by.

 In the early 17th Century a later Duke of Kent, Henry De Grey, had the De Grey Mausoleum added to one end of the church. Two more rooms were added in the 18th Century and the last in the 19th which blocks off part of the chancel. This Mausoleum is one of the largest of its kind in England and contains 20 or more monuments to the De Greys from 1614 to 1859.

 The Mausoleum is today run by English Heritage, as is Wrest Park, and the two together are one of the more diverting days out in Bedfordshire.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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