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Brief Overview

The Lincoln Episcopal Registers show that the advowson, vicarage and rectory of Streatley belonged to Markyate Priory from the foundation in 1145. The Church was confirmed to Markyate in 1402 and remained in its possession until the Dissolution. 

In 1544, the Crown granted the rectory, Church and advowson of the vicarage to Thomas Norton. In 1781, James Buchanan Riddell, Lord of Sundon Manor, acquired the right of presentation to Streatley vicarage, and it appears to have since followed the same descent as the advowson of Sundon, with which it is now consolidated. 

The present patron is the Lord Bishop of St Albans.

At the beginning of the last century, the Church was allowed to fall into great disrepair, as the photographs show. It was restored in 1938 under the direction of Sir A E Richardson ARA, FRIBA, as a fitting memorial to the devoted work of the Venerable Arthur Henry Purcell, who, as Archdeacon of Bedford, was responsible for restoring many ancient Bedfordshire Churches.

The arcades of the nave, of four bays, with arches of two chamfered orders and octagonal shafts with moulded capitals, are dated circa 1340. The north and south doorways are of the same date, with continuous mouldings. 

All the windows are of the 15th century, of two cinquefoiled lights with tracery in the head.

The chancel is modern.  The east window is of three lights with intersecting mullions. At the southeast of the chancel is a modern trefoiled piscine. The chancel arch is of two chamfered orders, the inner springing from plain corbels.

The 15th century tower, with a stair at the southwest, is of four stages with an embattled parapet. There is one bell by Mears, 1832, and a small bell without inscription. In the ground stage is a west window of three lights with tracery over, and the eastern arch is of two moulded orders with half-round shafts to the inner.

The roof timbers were extensively repaired in 1938, but many of the benches with linen patterns are 16th century. The front row of pews is pretty work of circa 1630, the heads of alternate panels being pierced with open tracery. The pulpit is made up of old materials of various dates, having linen pattern panels and an 18th century tester.

There are image brackets in the north and south aisles and in the nave. The font is a very fine example of mid-13th century detail, having on octagonal bowl carried by four engaged shafts with moulded capitals and bases and vertical lines of dogtooth between the shafts.

The Church plate includes a Communion cup of 1685 and a paten of 1879. The Church registers date from 1693.

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St Margaret's of old