St Denys, Colmworth
|North East Bedfordshire|
Colmworth is a village in the north of Bedfordshire, around 7 miles northeast of Bedford. The parish includes the hamlet of Duck's Cross. Other nearby places are Little Staughton, Wilden, Renhold, Staploe, Bolnhurst and Ravensden.
The Church of St Denys was built between 1426 and 1430 by Sir Gerard Braybrook. It is dedicated to the patron saint of France in honour of his French wife, Eleanor.
As a church of individual patronage, St Denys was built entirely in the 1430s with fabric unaltered since.
To the left of the communion table is an alabaster and black marble monument to Sir William Dyer erected in 1641 by his wife, Catherine, Lady Dyer. It has the following inscription, which is said locally to be the earliest recorded English poem by a woman:
My dearest dust, could not thy hasty day
Afford thy drowsy patience leave to stay
One hour longer, so that we might either
Have sat up or gone to bed together?
But since thy finished labour hath possessed
Thy weary limbs with early rest,
Enjoy it sweetly, and thy widow bride
Shall soon repose her by thy slumbering side,
Whose business now is only to prepare
My nightly dress and call to prayer.
Mine eyes wax heavy, and the day grows old,
The dew falls thick, my blood grows cold,
Draw, draw the closed curtains and make room,
My dear, my dearest dust, I come, I come."
Sir William’s and Lady Dyer’s sons were on opposing sides during the Civil War.
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