The church at Totternhoe is thought to date from the late Saxon period, but the current building only goes back to 1220 in records. The church is built from the locally famous stone Totternhoe Clunch – a type of hard chalk which gives many of Bedfordshire’s churches their distinctive chequerboard pattern, most notably at Luton.
Most of the church that stands today dates from either the 14th Century or an expansion in the late 15th/early 16th Century when the nave, aisles, tower and vestry were added.
The will of local man William Ashwell leave money to build the west tower – the will is dated 1545. The rood screen also seems likely to date from this period during an extensive rebuild. Henry VIII once asked “to be buried in the church of Toternehoo before the Image of Our Blessed Lady” – quite a recommendation for a little country church!
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