Tavistock Road, SM5

PLACE NAME

Tavistock Abbey, also known as the Abbey of Saint Mary and Saint Rumon, is a former Benedictine abbey in Tavistock, Devon. It is believed to have been founded in AD974 by Ordwulf, the son of a powerful landowner called Ordgar who ruled Devon on behalf the king, Edgar the Peaceful. The name, mentioned in 1086 as Tavestocha, comes from stoc, the old word for place, and the nearby River Tavy, and literally means place by the River Tavy. Having been rebuilt in the 10thCentury after being sacked by Vikings, the abbey grew to be one of the wealthiest in Devon. Far too prime a prize to pass up, it was seized by the Crown under the orders of Henry VIII in 1539, during the Dissolution of the Monasteries. The land was granted to John Russell, later the Earl of Bedford, whose descendants would go to own huge estates in Bloomsbury and Covent Garden. 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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