Marham Gardens, SM4

PLACE NAME

Marham Abbey was situated in the village of Marham in Norfolk. It was founded by Isabel, Countess of Arundel, in 1249 as a monastery for Cistercian nuns. The village is referred to as Merham, meaning the hamlet by the mere in reference to local marshes, in the Domesday Book. It was one of only two abbeys founded for Cistercian nuns in England, and in 1252 was formally incorporated into Waverley Abbey, the mother house of the Cistercian order in England. It seems to have been dogged by financial problems, records show it at various points having either been exempted from paying, or pardoned for not paying, its taxes. Alas, the improvement in its finances in the 14th and 15th centuries, was not enough to save it from closure at the hands of Henry VIII. It was one of first to be closed, in 1536, during the king’s cull of the monasteries. The king’s commissioners apparently found it in considerable disarray, with its inhabitants accused of disreputable behaviour. The site was granted to Sir Nicholas and John Hare, residents of London. 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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