The Parish of Cranford St Dunstan with Holy Angels

 St Dunstan's, Cranford Park

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Winter in Cranford - January 2010
Winter in Cranford - January 2010

St Dunstan's, Cranford Park
St Dunstan's, Cranford Park

St Dunstan's, Cranford Park
St Dunstan's, Cranford Park

St Dunstan's is the Parish Church of Cranford.
We know that during the reign of Edward the Confessor the Manor was owned by Turstan, the King's Thane.
It later passed to John de Cranford, who passed it to the Order of the Knights Templars.
When the Knights Templars were abolished the Manor and Parish were vested in the Crown until 1310, when it was passed to the Knights Hospitallers of St John of Jerusalem.
The records tell us that Bishop Roger of Lichfield presented a priest to the living in 1363. However, by 1365 the Abbot and Convent of Thame (near Oxford) were in possession of the Advowson.
With the dissolution of Religious Houses by Henry VIII, the Manor and Advowson were given by the King to his friend, Henry, Lord Windsor, whose family help possession until 1604.
In 1604 the estate was purchased by Sir Roger Aston, gentleman of the bed chamber and confidential minister of James VI of Scotland. Upon the death of Sir Roger, with no surviving male heir, the estate was acquired, in 1618, by Elizabeth Lady Berkeley. It remains a living of the Berkeley family today.

From the surviving records and documents we can safely assume that a church has stood upon the present site of St Dunstan's from Saxon times (7/8th Century). The earliest known reference is to be found in Sir Montague Sharpe's edition of "Middlesex in British, Roman and Saxon Times", in which he mentions the church at Cranford as one of those built upon the site of a compita, or 'little chapel', which usually stood at the cross-roads, and where the Romans offered sacrifices to their rurual gods twice a year.
When Pope Gregory I sent St Augustine and his missionary priests to Britain he directed them to "utilize the sacred places of the Pagans for the service of the true God, and to adapt them to the uses of the Christian Church."
St Dunstan's is also mentioned in the Domesday Book, as is the fact that a virgate of land (about 30 acres) was held for the maintenance of the priest who served at the church prior to the Norman conquest.


The High Altar
The High Altar

Madonna and Child
Madonna and Child

The wall painting at St Dunstan's (in need of conservation)
This has been dated to the 15th Century. You can make out a sun-burst and the Monogram of
The wall painting at St Dunstan's (in need of conservation) This has been dated to the 15th Century. You can make out a sun-burst and the Monogram of