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Hulcote and Salford, Bedfordshire

The earliest parts of St.Mary's church, the nave and south aisle, date to the late 13th century though, as the list of incumbents below demonstrates, there was a church here at an earlier date. Interestingly the north porch includes a beam with a 13th century dogtooth ornament. The chancel is early 14th century, the nave rood and some of the pews are 15th century.

 

An inventory of 1552 notes the church had a lead covered roof and steeple and a tiled porch and three bells, one of which remains in the open bellcote. The steeple was taken down around and replaced with a brick tower with corner pinnacles and a pyramidal roof, William White in 1866 reckoning that this had happened about a century before. At that date a gallery existed under the belfry. In 1836 the church had new pews installed and the south doors were stopped up.

 

During the decade Salford acquired a pulpit and church from Wavendon [Buckinghamshire] which had received fine specimens from St.Dunstab-in-the-West, London. By 1845 the church as "in very bad condition". White's survey of 1866 prepared the way for restoration in 1867 with considerable work on the chancel, walls and roof and the erection of the current bellcote in place of the old brick tower.

 

A vestry was added in 1900 in memory of Rev.Peter Charnock Smith who is also remembered in a stained glass window fitted in 1901. More stained glass was added to the north side of the nave in 1921. The Victorian fittings in the chancel were removed in 1971.  

 

Most of the notes on the structural history of the church can be found in greater detail in Bedfordshire Historical Record Society Volume number 79 of 2000 Bedfordshire Churches in the Nineteenth Century: Part III: parishes S to Y, put together by former County Archivist Chris Pickford from numerous sources some held by Bedfordshire & Luton Archives & Records Service and some held elsewhere or published.

 

Hulcote was united with Salford in 1750. From 1939 to 1953 Hulcote with Salford shared an incumbent with Ridgmont and since 1961 Hulcote with Salford has shared an incumbent with Cranfield, though the two parishes maintain separate parochial church councils, churchwardens and services.

St. Mary's Church Salford

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