The church was built in the thirteenth century, and controlled from Tickford priory, Newport Pagnell. The earliest vicar was Henricus, who was ordained in 1223. A Latin inscription over one side of the chancel reads- “The church was dedicated in honour of St Lawrence”- who died a martyr’s death for his faith, and on the other side “thirty days relaxation”- meaning that pilgrims visiting this holy place received thirty days absolution from purgatory.

It has been suggested that, before the Reformation, St Lawrence’s was part of a pilgrim’s way which ran from Bradwell Priory to Stanton Low, a now lost church in the vicinity of New Bradwell. Part of St. Lawrence’s tower was built of masonry salvaged from Bradwell Priory after the Dissolution in about 1540. The church has undergone many successive restorations and refurbishments. Of its peal of six bells, two date from 1310, another “Augustine”, from 1420, two more were added by the Baily family in 1909, and the last was installed in 1981 as a replacement for “Augustine’ which had developed a flaw which could not be rectified, and was pensioned off to a site in the South Aisle.

The churchyard contains the graves of the Baily family. The Mid-Nineteenth Century churchgates were built by Roberts of Deanshanger, a renowned firm of agricultural engineers.

Today the church is part is part of an ecumenical parish serving the spiritual needs of Bradwell, Heelands and Bradwell Common.

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