Marksbury Avenue, TW9

Place Name

Named after the manors of Houndstreet and Marksbury, in Somerset, which belonged to the Leyborne Popham family, who through inheritance also came into possession of the manor of East Sheen and Westhall. The East Sheen manor, which had once been part of the manor of Mortlake until it was broken up in the Middle Ages had been in the ownership of the Taylor family. That ended with the death of Elizabeth Taylor, the last in the direct line, in. 1837. The property was passed to her 72-year-old cousin Edward William Leyborne Popham, a Major-General in the British Army. By 1900 his grandson Francis William Leyborne Popham had inherited the estate and decided to develop it. The coming of the railway a few decades before had made the area an easy commute into the city and residential property was far more profitable than the market gardens that still made up much of the local area at the beginning of the 20thCentury. Many nearby roads on the Leyborne Park development are also named after the family’s extensive property holdings in the West Country. The village name comes from the Old English and means either Mǣrec’s or Mearc’s stronghold from a male personal name plus burh meaning a stronghold or fortified place, or as stronghold on a boundary from mearc meaning boundary, possibly a reference to the Wansdyke. At the beginning of the 17th century it passed to the family of Sir John Popham, whose descendants sold off portions of land in the intervening years.

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