Virtual Tour of St Mary's Church, Eaton Bray - Pages 15-16


The South Arcade

On the south side the arcade is much less ornate, with octagonal piers supporting less lavishly decorated stiff-leaf capitals, still finely carved, and much plainer arches. A similar arcade is found a few miles away at St Mary’s, Studham.

Pillar in South Arcade of St Marys Eaton Bray


How we account for the difference between the two arcades remains a matter of conjecture.

What is known is that the original village church was granted to the Augustinian Priory which King Henry I founded at Dunstable in 1131. The practice of granting parishes to monasteries gave the monastery a regular income, in return for which the monks had to provide a priest to serve the parish - either one of their own number if it was close at hand, or another priest (a "vicar") who would be paid a proportion of the parish income as his stipend.

The parish of Eitone (or Eaton as it became) was held by Dunstable Priory until the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 1530s.

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