The hilltop village of Harlington has been inhabited since prehistoric times, and an Iron Age hillfort graces a nearby hill. Closer still is a Roman cemetery.

The oldest buildings in Harlington, including several attractive 15th-century half-timbered houses, are situated on Church Road, Station Road, Westoning Road and Sundon Road. Nearby Harlington Manor was the home of Edmund Wingate, tutor to Queen Henrietta Maria.

The parish church of St. Mary the Virgin was built by the Augustinian monks of Dunstable Priory in the 13th century, on the site of a still earlier wooden church. A tower was added in the 15th century.

The village is rich in "Bunyanisms" - Harlington Manor was the site of Bunyan's interrogation following his arrest for seditious preaching at nearby Lower Samshill. After his interrogation, Bunyan was taken to the county gaol in Bedford. It was while he was imprisoned that Bunyan wrote the work for which he is best remembered, The Pilgrim's Progress.

The parish church has an altar made from the bough of a tree that Bunyan stood beneath when he preached at Upper East End, and a stained glass window depicting scenes from Pilgrim's Progress.

The "Bunyan Oak" at Upper East End, just outside the village, can still be visited. The oak is some 600 years old, and its natural growth has provided a step-up "pulpit" from which it is easy to imagine Bunyan preaching.

John Bunyan biography

About Harlington
Address: Harlington, Bedfordshire, England
Attraction Type: Town
Location map
OS: TL037 305
Photo Credit: Peter Roberts, licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence


HeritageWe've 'tagged' this attraction information to help you find related historic attractions and learn more about major time periods mentioned.

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Iron Age (Architecture) - Prehistoric (Time Period) - Roman (Time Period) -


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