Keynsham Abbey in the town of Keynsham, Somerset, was founded as a house for Augustinian canons in about 1166 by William, Earl of Gloucester. The town is listed in the Domesday Book as Cainesham, the name is popularly believed to mean the home of St Keyne, who according to legend lived here on the banks of the River Avon during the 5thCentury. Having been warned by the local King that the marshy area was swarming with snakes, St Keyne prayed to the heavens and turned the snakes to stone. The fossil ammonites found in the area were believed to be the result. However, there is no evidence that her cult was ever celebrated in Keynsham. A more likely explanation is that, having been referenced in AD980 in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as Cægineshamme, it derives from an Old English personal name Cæga, and the word for settlement, ham, literally, Cæga’s settlement. Either way, the abbey was closed under the orders of the King in 1539. 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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