Thornton Abbey is a medieval Augustinian abbey located close to the village of Thornton Curtis in North Lincolnshire. It was founded as a priory in 1139 by William le Gros, the Earl of Yorkshire, and raised to the status of abbey in 1148. The name Thornton is from the Old English words thorn and tun, and refers to a village where thorn trees grow. In the 1086 Domesday book it is written as Torentune. The abbey grew rich and with an annual income of £591 in 1534 it was far too prime a prize to pass up. Henry VIII seized it a few years later as part of his land grab against the Roman Catholic Church, though it managed to rumble on for a few more years as a secular college it was closed for good in 1547. It has the country’s largest and most impressive surviving monastic gatehouse. 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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