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All Saints Church Tower, Bow Brickhill

All Saints Tower 
Bow Brickhill

History

Situated on the Greensand Ridge overlooking the new city of Milton Keynes, the church of All Saints Bow Brickhill has stood since 1185 (first record) and this strategically important spot has seen many historic events over the years. The Danesborough Hill fort (likely to have been built by anti-Roman tribesmen) is just half a mile north east along the ridge. Boudicca and her Celtic army would have passed close by in 61AD as they marched up Watling Street to their deaths at the hands of the Romans, today somewhere off the A5 near Towcester.

Centuries on in the English Civil War in 1643 a large force of the Earl of Essex's troops were positioned again at the top of the ridge waiting for the King's forces to arrive. Starved of ammunition and supplies the Earl's men were in something of a desperate plight and had Charles attacked perhaps English history would have been very different.  The bell frame carries an inscribed date of 1628, the very year Cromwell took his seat in Parliament. A new roof to the church was also erected at this time. 

All Saints and its tower has stood proud through two World Wars and functioned as an observation post with the authorities building a wooden planked 'Ops Room' within the `sounding chamber’ on the first floor. On the night of the 14th November 1940 All Saints Tower witnessed the most terrible destruction of Coventry. Eye witnesses recorded seeing a dozen or more adapted Heinkels fly over the tower and within the hour the horizon was glowing bright red!

During the "clean up" campaign and within the `Ops Room’ a graffiti wall has been discovered.  No doubt to celebrate their ascent of the tower, visitors from 1902 onwards put their signatures in pencil to the two walls. 

 You can read more of  the church's history and architecture here or download a leaflet

 

Bow Brickhill village website