Langford Church, Bedfordshire

The church at Langford has its origins in 1142 when the land here was given to the Knights Templar by Simon de Wahull. The Templars built the first church which may have been on the site of an older structure, although it in turn was completely demolished in 1312 when the current church was started.

Some of the structure of the nave seems to have survived but the majority of what has survived is from the early-mid 14th Century. The tower and porch were added in the 15th. The Victorians had their hand in the church and remodelled it extensively in the late 1800s.

The Church remained with the Templars until 1312 and with their successors the Knights Hospitallers until 1539. The Black Death took a big toll on the village from which it never fully recovered.

During the Civil War the Roundheads used the church as a barrack and stables and left it in a very poor state. It seems no moves were undertaken to rebuild after the Restoration as Viscount Byng, passing by in the late 1700s, remarks “passed through Langford where the House of God is more wretched that the house of man”.

Renovation work was not started until the Victorian restructuring leaving us with the striking church we have today.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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