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The origins of the museum’s collection go back to the early days of Bunyan Meeting. Various bequests across the centuries have seen it grow to become the most important Bunyan collection in the world.


The collection was put on display for the first time in 1946, in what is now the Harrowden room. This room has its own history and was used by the BBC for broadcasting during World War Two, when Bedford gave it a safe home away from the London blitz.

In 1988 the members of Bunyan Meeting embarked upon a project to refurbish some of the meeting rooms and to construct a purpose-built museum to house the large collection of artefacts and books relating to John Bunyan.

After ten years of fundraising the new museum was officially opened in 1998. Funding had come from charitable trusts, Bedford Borough Council, and officer time from Bedfordshire County Council, with the majority of funding coming from members of the church and private donations.

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