I do not know what I expected but it was not what we found. I was disappointed to find that Elstow the birth place of John Bunyan had been swallowed up by a sprawling Bedford and surrounded by its busy road networks and bypass leading you on to the M1 motorway and Milton Keynes.
The Abbey Church of St Helena and St Mary is all that is left of a larger monastic church begun in 1078 it is situated just of the Village green where John played in his youth, he was christened here in 1628 and his parents and sister are buried in the graveyard.
As photo opportunities go it was a little disappointing, The Moot House on the village green which houses a museum on 17th century life did have a certain charm but I found it almost to pristine and clinical. The only redeeming feature was the village sign.
Perhaps this is all a little harsh but it was not helped by the fact that both the village school and the Swan public house had seen better days and we’re boarded up. There was a plaque on the high street marking the spot were John Buynan once lived on his return from the civil war but even this lacked any romance and very little inspiration.
Therefore it has to be concluded that it is the man, his teachings and his writings that are the enduring factor and leave the more lasting impression.