Like nearby Boleyn Close, this is named after Anne Boleyn (about 1501 – May 19, 1536), Queen of England from 1533 to 1536 as the second wife of King Henry VIII. Their marriage, and Anne’s execution for treason by beheading, made her a key figure in the political and religious drama that marked the start of the Reformation. Cardinal Wolsey, who fell from royal favour after failing to negotiate Henry’s marriage to his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, is also commemorated nearby as part of the so-called Tudor estate. The estate was laid out in the 1950s on the site of Fencepiece Farm, a former fenced clearing in the medieval Hainault Forest. This royal woodland had been used by English kings and queens as a hunting ground for centuries. Near its centre stood an Elizabethan house known as Chappell Hainault. Following an Act of Parliament in 1850 the forest was disafforested meaning it was no longer a royal forest or the property of the Crown. It was broken up and sold as farmland which was later developed for housing.
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