Windows in Bunyan's Free Chapel, Bedford showing the "The House Beautiful"



John Bunyan, preacher and author of The Pilgrim's Progress, was a Calvinist. The windows shown below are taken from Bunyan's Free Chapel in Bedford, England which was built on the site of the chapel where he used to preach the gospel.

There is the possibility, since he was within sight of the summer home, Houghton House, of Calvinist, Mary Sidney, who may had a local religious influence in the area, these two literary figures are in some connected. Her house, Houghton House, is regarded as "The House Beautiful" in Pilgrims Progress. Bunyan, when he was a local tinker probably visited it. For the background to Bunyan's "The Pilgrim's Progress" and links to the text click here. From the summary of its plot of Pilgrim's Progress, you will be able to identify the scenes depicted in these stained glass windows?

"The House Beautiful" (Mary Sidney's Italianate house near Bedford) is bottom right (with chained lions). Houghton House is now a ruin but John Bunyan knew it when it was habitable, as in the picture below. For the story of Mary Sidney, Houghton House and recent photos, click here.

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