Abbots Langley

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Abbots Langley
Abbots Langley - The Church of St Lawrence the Martyr - - 272827.jpg
St Lawrence the Martyr Church, Abbots Langley
Abbots Langley is located in Hertfordshire
Abbots Langley
Abbots Langley
 Abbots Langley shown within Hertfordshire
Population 10,472 (2001)[1]
OS grid reference TL095015
Civil parish Abbots Langley
District Three Rivers
Shire county Hertfordshire
Region East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district WD5
Dialling code 01923
Police Hertfordshire
Fire Hertfordshire
Ambulance East of England
EU Parliament East of England
UK Parliament Watford
List of places

Coordinates: 51°42′04″N 0°24′58″W / 51.701°N 0.416°W / 51.701; -0.416

Abbots Langley is a large village and civil parish in the English county of Hertfordshire. It is an old settlement and is mentioned (under the name of Langelai) in the Domesday Book. Economically the village is closely linked to Watford and was formerly part of the Watford Rural District. Since 1974 it has been included in the Three Rivers district.


This village has had a long history of successful human habitation. The first traces of human habitation in the area were recorded by renowned archaeologist Sir John Evans (1823–1908).[2] The village sits on a saucer of clay covered by a layer of gravel, and as a result water supply has never been a problem; records show that in earlier times water could be drawn from a well just 20 ft deep[citation needed]

In 1045 the Saxon thegn Ethelwine 'the black' granted the upper part of Langlai to St Albans Abbey as Langlai Abbatis (Latin for Langlai of the Abbot, hence 'Abbot's Langley')[citation needed] the remainder being the king's Langlai. By the time of the Domesday Book in 1086 the village was inhabited by 19 families.[3]

The area was split into four manors, Abbots Langley, Langleybury, Chambersbury, and Hyde. In 1539, Henry VIII, seized Abbots Langley and sold it to his military engineer Sir Richard Lee.[2] The Manor of Abbots Langley was bequeathed by Francis Combe in his will of 1641 jointly to Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge and Trinity College, Oxford. The manors of Langleybury and Chambersbury passed through the Ibgrave and Child families, and in 1711 were conveyed to Sir Robert Raymond then Solicitor General later Attorney General and Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench. On the death of his son without issue in 1756 the manors passed to the Filmer family. The Manor of Hyde passed to Edward Strong in 1714, through his daughter to Sir John Strange, who left the manor to be shared between his children and their descendents (including Admiral Sir George Strong Nares) and then to the possession of F.M. Nares & Co which sold the estate to the British Land Company in 1858.[4]

On Tibbs Hill Road there is a well-preserved example of a Prince Albert's Model Cottage. The original design and construction was for the Great Exhibition of 1851, to demonstrate model housing for the poor. Subsequently the design was replicated in several other locations, including Abbots Langley.

Kitters Green developed as a separate hamlet by Manor House. The land between Kitters Green and Abbots Langley was bought from the estate of Sarah Smith by the British Land Company in 1866. It laid out plots for development along Adrian, Breakspear, Garden and Popes roads. The development of these plots led to the merger of the two settlements and the loss of Kitters Green's separate identity.[3]

The recent Katherine Place development has brought in some high class retailers to the centre and was sold for £2.93 million in December 2005. To the south of the village are Leavesden Film Studios, on the former RAF and later Rolls-Royce airfield, where scenes from movies including GoldenEye, Sleepy Hollow and the Harry Potter series have been filmed.

Nicholas Breakspear/Pope Adrian IV[edit]

Pope Adrian IV, the only Englishman ever to have become Pope, was born as Nicholas Breakspear in Abbots Langley around the year 1100. Therefore, Abbots Langley village includes a number of roads named after its famous son (Adrian, Breakspear, Pope), and at one time included activities of the Brakspear brewery.




A number of teams play locally:[5]

  • Abbots Langley FC, the local side who currently play in the West Herts Saturday League using the facilities at the nearby Leavesden Country Park.
  • Ecocall F.C. in the Olympian Sunday Football League
  • Evergreen (Sunday) in the Watford Sunday Football League
  • Evergreen Youth in the West Herts Youth League and Watford Friendly League
  • Everett Rovers (Saturday) in the Arlon Printers West Herts Saturday League
  • Abbots Youth in the West Herts Youth League and Watford Friendly League
  • Bedmond FC in the Herts Senior County League, Watford Friendly League and Mid Herts Rural Minors League
  • Langleybury Cricket Club (WHL) in the Arlon Printers West Herts Saturday League
  • Langleybury Cricket Club (WOSL) in the Watford Sunday Football League


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Office for National Statistics, 2001 Census, Key Statistics for HCC Settlements #. Crown copyright. Table KS01 Usual resident population (numbers)" (PDF). Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Hastie, Scott (1993). Abbots Langley—A Hertfordshire Village. Abbots Langley: Abbots Langley Parish Council. ISBN 0-9520929-0-5. 
  3. ^ a b Clark, Clive W. (1997). Abbots Langley Then 1760–1960. 143 Sussex Way, Cockfosters, Herts, EN4 0BG: Clive W. Clark. ISBN 0-9531473-0-4. 
  4. ^ William Page, ed. (1908). "Abbots Langley". A History of the County of Hertford. Victoria County History. 2. pp. 323–328. Retrieved 11 March 2009. 
  5. ^ " – Find a Club". Retrieved 23 May 2008. [dead link][dead link]
  6. ^ Almunia is real ghoulkeeper
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Hastie, Scott (1993). Abbots Langley—A Hertfordshire Village. Abbots Langley: Abbots Langley Parish Council. ISBN 0-9520929-0-5. 
  8. ^ H. K. Moffatt, 'Crighton, David George (1942–2000)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, September 2004
  9. ^ Kenneth Garlick, 'Evans, Dame Joan (1893–1977)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004
  10. ^ Yolanda Foote, 'Evans, Sir John (1823–1908)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, September 2004;
  11. ^ Bannerman, B.W. (1904). Miscellanea Genealogica Et Heraldica: Third Series. Vol 5. Mitchell Hughes and Clarke ISBN 978-1-4021-9409-2-page 298
  12. ^ Gentleman's Magazine 1805 Letter Christ Johnson May page 405
  13. ^ Davidson,L. A. F. (2004). 'Greenhill, Thomas (fl. 1698–1732)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, [1] doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/11428
  14. ^ The Times, (17 October 1961). Man in Court on A6 Charge; pg. 6; Issue 55214; col D
  15. ^ Barnes, James J.; and Patience P. Barnes (1987). James Vincent Murphy : Translator and Interpreter of Fascist Europe, 1880–1946. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. ISBN 0-8191-6054-7. 
  16. ^ Hastie, Scott (1996). A Hertfordshire Valley. Kings Langley: Alpine Press. p. 96. ISBN 0-9528631-0-3. 
  17. ^ George Turnbull, C.E. 437-page memoirs published privately 1893, scanned copy held in the British Library, London on compact disk since 2007. Many pages refer to when he lived in Abbots Langley.
  18. ^ Hastie, Scott (1993). Abbots Langley—A Hertfordshire Village. Abbots Langley: Abbots Langley Parish Council. ISBN 0-9520929-0-5. Rosehill was built in the 1820s and demolished c. 1952. The house stood on Gallows Hill where the Gade View flats are today.<...>Between 1875 and 1887, the house was home to George Turnbull whose wife survived him and lived on there until 1899. 
  19. ^ "British Listed Buildings". Retrieved 5 April 2011. 

External links[edit]