John Bunyan and Bedford

sketch of John BunyanDestination

John Bunyan Museum
Mill Street,
Bedford
MK40 3EU

Admission free, open Tuesday – Saturday from February half term to October half term, inclusive (closed Sunday and Monday).

  • Outlawed preacher, John Bunyan spent many years in gaol for preaching without a licence from the bishop.
  • Talented writer, his Pilgrim’s Progress outsold everything except the Bible and influenced The Hobbit, The Chronicles of Narnia, Doctor Who and even the Mr Men!
  • Family man, he was married twice, and  had 7 children, one of whom was blind.

The museum tells his story from roundhead soldier to devoted peacemaker.

Travel

By car, take A421 from A1 or M1, follow signs to town centre. Nearest car park is in Lurke Street.
By bus X5 from Oxford to Cambridge via Bicester and Milton Keynes
By train on Midland Main Line to Bedford Central or branch line from Bletchley to Bedford St Johns.

While you're here, pop into John Bunyan's church, next door to the museum, and take a walk across to the south bank where you can find the spot where John Bunyan was baptised in the river.

Contemporary sketch of John Bunyan by Robert White © copyright situation not known
Photo of baptism site © copyright Michael Jobling.

Opening words of Pilgrim's Progress
"As I walked through the wilderness of this world, I lighted on a certain place where was a Den, and I laid me down in that place to sleep: and, as I slept, I dreamed a dream. I dreamed, and behold, I saw a man clothed with rags, standing in a certain place, with his face from his own house, a book in his hand, and a great burden upon his back. I looked, and saw him open the book, and read therein; and, as he read, he wept, and trembled; and, not being able longer to contain,he brake out with a lamentable cry, saying, What shall I do?"