Lessness Road, SM4

PLACE NAME

Today only ruins remain of Lesnes Abbey established in 1178, in Abbey Wood, Bexley. It is said to have been founded by Richard de Luci, Chief Justiciar of England, in penance for his part  in the murder of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Beckett, seven years earlier. The theory takes on more credence given that the abbey was dedicated to St Mary and St Thomas the Martyr. The name itself, which means a meadow promontory, comes from the manor of Lesnes, which was first mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Lesneis. Augustinian monks from Holy Trinity, Aldgate, populated the abbey. It was closed by Cardinal Wolsey in 1525, under a licence to suppress small monasteries. All of its monastic buildings were pulled down in 1534 with the exception of the Abbott’s Lodging. 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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