The Priory Church of St. Peter is all that remains of the Augustinian Dunstable Priory. Established by Henry I in 1131, and built from Totternhoe quarry stone in the Norman style, the Priory was dedicated by Bishop Hugh II of Lincoln on 18th October, 1213. In December 1290, the body of Queen Eleanor, wife of Edward I, lay here for one night en route to Westminster Abbey. St. John’sFraternity restored the building before the Reformation. In 1533 the court of annulment took place in our Lady Chapel. This ended the marriage of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, signalling the break with Rome and beginning the Church of England. The building was much reduced at the Dissolution of the Monasteries. As well as its historical importance, the Priory has been a place of worship over the centuries for the people of the town, as it still is today.
For latest information and research visit the Medieval Dunstable Project
Europe is generally agreed to be the birthplace of western culture, including such legendary innovations as the democratic nation-state, football and tomato sauce.The word Europe comes from the Greek goddess Europa, who was kidnapped by Zeus and plunked down on the island of Crete. Europa gradually changed from referring to mainland Greece until it extended finally to include Norway and Russia.Don't be confused that Europe is called a continent without looking like an island, the way the other continents do. It's okay. The Ural mountains have steadily been there to divide Europe from Asia for the last 250 million years. Russia technically inhabits "Eurasia".Europe is presently uniting into one political and economic zone with a common currency called the Euro. The European Union originated in 1993 and is now composed of 27 member states. Its headquarters is in Brussels, Belgium.Do not confuse the EU with the Council of Europe, which has 47 member states and dates to 1949. These two bodies share the same flag, national anthem, and mission of integrating Europe. The headquarters of the Council are located in Strasbourg, France, and it is most famous for its European Court of Human Rights. In spite of these two bodies, there is still no single Constitution or set of laws applying to all the countries of Europe. Debate rages over the role of the EU in regards to national sovereignty. As of January 2009, the Lisbon Treaty is the closest thing to a European Constitution, yet it has not been approved by all the EU states. Text by Steve Smith.