Winchcombe Road, SM5

PLACE NAME

Winchcombe Abbey, just outside the town of Winchcombe, Gloucestershire was founded as a home for a group of Benedictine monks by Anglo-Saxon king, Cenwulf in AD798. It takes its name from the eponymous town, inhabited since Roman times, which appears in written records as Wincelcumba in AD816. The name means valley with a bend, deriving from the Old English elements wincel, for corner or angle, and cumb, referring to a valley. The abbey became an important royal centre serving as the capital of Mercia, one of the seven ancient kingdoms of Anglo-Saxon England. It prospered from the 10thCentury not only as important pilgrimage site housing the remains of St Kenelm, but later as a centre for learning. Far too prime a prize to pass up, it was closed under the orders of Henry VIII in 1539 as part of the Dissolution of the Monasteries, later demolished and the land sold. 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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