Ashridge Way, SM4

PLACE NAME

Ashridge Priory was a medieval abbey founded by Edmund of Almain, the 2nd Earl of Cornwall and owner of a large country estate called Ashridge in the Berkhamsted area of Hertfordshire, in 1283. The name is recorded as Assherugge in 1200, variant spellings include Assherigge, Assherudge and Esserugge. The name is literal, referring to an ash tree lined ridge. The earl saw to it that the abbey prospered, donating a phial of Christ’s blood he had picked up in Germany, hence establishing it as an important pilgrimage site. Its wealth however made it far too prime a prize to pass up. It was seized by Henry VIII during his 16thCentury land grab against the Roman Catholic Church, who eventually gave it to his daughter, the future queen Elizabeth I. Today it is a stately home. Like many of the roads on the St Helier’s estate this is named after British monasteries and abbeys in remembrance of the area’s historic ownership by Westminster Abbey. The road names are in alphabetical order, of which Aberconway Road in the north west of the estate is first.

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