Langdon Walk, SM4


Langdon Abbey in Kent was founded sometime around 1192 for an order of Premonstratensian monks, also known as White Canons, from Leiston in Suffolk by William de Auberville. Despite a rather uneventful history over the course of the next few hundred years, the abbey can reputedly lay claim to being the very first to be suppressed by King Henry VIII as part of his 16thCentury land grab against the church. Richard Layton, the commissioner charged with overseeing its closure, is said to have sent the following report to Thomas Cromwell following the arrest of the abbot and his mistress: “[I was] a good space knocking at the abbot’s door; nec vox nec sensus apparuit, saving the abbot’s little dog that within his door fast locked bayed and barked. I found a short poleaxe standing behind the door, and with it I dashed the abbot’s door in pieces, ictu oculi, and set one of my men to keep that door; and about the house I go, with that poleaxe in my hand, ne forte, for the abbot is a dangerous desperate knave, and a hardy. But for a conclusion, his gentlewoman bestirred her stumps towards her starting-holes; and then Bartlett, watching the pursuit, took the tender damoisel; and, after I had examined her, [brought her] to Dover to the mayor, to set her in some cage or prison for eight days; and I brought holy father abbot to Canterbury, and here in Christchurch I will leave him in prison.” It was no doubt because of Layton’s damning report that the house was formally surrendered on November 13, 1535 before the Act of Dissolution was passed. 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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