In 1214, King John gave the manor of Hales, Shropshire, to Peter des Roches, Bishop of Winchester, to build a religious house of ‘whatever order he pleased’. The abbey at Halesowen was established four years later and populated by a community of priests from Welbeck in Nottinghamshire. In 1086, the manor and town was known as Hala, from the Anglo-Saxon word halh meaning nook or remote valley, until it was gifted by King Henry II to the Welsh Prince David Owen and became known as Halas Owen. The monastery acted as a resting point for pilgrims en route to St Kenelm’s Church, Romsley, said to have been near the site where Kenelm, King of Mercia, had been martyred. The abbey and all its possessions were surrendered to the Crown by its last abbot, William Taylor, in 1538, and two years later, partly demolished. 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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