Stratford Langthorne Abbey


Stratford Langthorne Abbey

Stratford Langthorne Abbey, or the Abbey of St Mary's, Stratford Langthorne was a Cistercian monastery founded in 1135 at Stratford Langthorne — then Essex but now Stratford in the London Borough of Newham. The Abbey, also known as West Ham Abbey as it lay in that parish, was one of the largest Cistercian abbeys in England, possessing convert|1500|acre|km2|2|lk=on of local land, controlling over 20 manors throughout Essex. [ [http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?compid=42760 "West Ham: Stratford Abbey", A History of the County of Essex: Volume 6 (1973), pp. 112-14] Date accessed: 28 April 2008] The Abbey was self sufficient for its needs and wealthy besides; some of this wealth came from the ecclesiastic mills grinding wheat for local bakers to supply bread to the City of London. This later led to competition with the Guild of Bakers, who sought powers to levy a toll on loaves entering the City at Whitechapel.

History

Foundation

In a charter dated 25 July 1135, William de Montfichet granted the monks all his lordship of (West) Ham, convert|11|acre|m2|0 of meadow, two mills by the causeway of Stratford, his wood of Buckhurst and the tithe of his "pannage". The abbey was dedicated in honour of St Mary. The Abbey was a daughter house of Savigny Abbey, and in 1218 the General Chapter ruled that visiting members of the order could only spend three days at the Abbey's hospitality. The following year, the rule was relaxed and monks and lay brothers could remain longer, as long as they provided their own ale and wine; and oats and hay for their horses. [http://cistercians.shef.ac.uk/abbeys/stratford_langthorne.php "Cistercian Abbeys: Stratford Langthorne"] The Cistercians in Yorkshire (Sheffield University) accessed 20 April 2008] The Abbey church expanded from a simple cruciform building, to one with an aisled presbytery, ambulatory and side chapels by the 13th century. The religious house was surrounded by buildings for lay brothers and hospitality. There were also workshops for brewing, shearing, weaving and tannery with farm buildings to service the extensive holdings and mills on the Bow Back Rivers. Some of these were tidal mills, like those at Three Mills. These were owned by the Abbey, but the surviving mill was built much later.

In 1267, for a time, the Abbey became the court of Henry III for the visitation of the Papal legates, and it was here that he made peace with the barons under the terms of the Dictum of Kenilworth. Subsequent monarchs visited, and the Abbey came to be both a popular retreat for the nobility and their final resting place. In 1381, the Abbey was invaded by the Peasant's Revolt and its goods removed. It also suffered flooding at the end of the 14th century, after which the Abbey was restored by Richard II. King Edward IV was entertained in 1467, and began an annual endowment of two casks of wine for the celebration of masses, in his honour.

A small river port developed at Stratford, mentioned in the 15th century, to serve the needs of West Ham Abbey and the mills at Stratford. There is similar evidence in later centuries with specialist wharves for brick and timber, but by 1920 the dock was filled in and factories built on the site. From 1613, extraction of water for canals and the artificial New River, supplying fresh water to the city from Hertfordshire, had caused water levels to fall in the non-navigable channels, and traditional water milling to cease. [http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?compid=42750&strquery=bow%20bridge "West Ham: Rivers, bridges, wharfs and docks", A History of the County of Essex: Volume 6 (1973), pp. 57-61] accessed: 30 April 2006.]

Dissolution

The Abbey existed until the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII in 1538. [ The deed of surrender was signed on 18 March 1538, by the last Abbott, William Huddleston, the Chanter and Sacrist (principal officials of the Abbey) and eleven monks. Laight (1999).] It was the fifth largest in England – as important as its sister Abbeys at Jervaulx, Rievaulx and Fountains. At the dissolution the land was granted to Sir Peter Meautas and Johanna his wife "for their true and faithful service" and the monks retired to their former property in Plaistow. [http://www.westhamabbey.org.uk/Stratford%20Langthorne%20Abbey.htm "Stratford Langthorne Abbey"] John Laight (1999) accessed 30 April 2008]

In 1177, a bridge was built at Bow, to replace a ford at Old Ford. Initially, local land and Abbey Mill were given to Barking Abbey for the maintenance of the bridge, but these properties and the responsibility eventually passed to this Abbey. The Abbess of Barking and Abbot of West Ham argued about the obligation, a dispute that was settled in 1315. West Ham was to maintain the bridge and highway, but the Abbess would pay £200 annually in recompense. The Abbey's subsequent dissolution caused further lengthy litigation over maintenance of the bridge at Bow – with the successor landowners found responsible in 1691. [http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=39836 "Houses of Cistercian monks: Abbey of Stratford Langthorne", A History of the County of Essex: Volume 2 (1907), pp. 129-133] accessed: 30 April 2008.] The matter was not finally resolved until 1834, with the formation of a Turnpike Trust. The Abbey was also responsible for maintenance of the sea wall around West Ham marsh, this led to further disputes with the nearby Priory of St Leonards at Bow, when, in 1339 the Abbot attempted to put the expense on the Abbess.

Modern history

The Abbey lay between the Channelsea River and Marsh Lane (Manor Road). Nothing visible remains on the site, as local landowners took away much of the stone for their own buildings, and by 1840, the North Woolwich railway was built through the site, and factories were established on the remaining land. Today, the site is occupied by the Abbey Mills Pumping Station. A stone window and a carving featuring skulls – thought to have been over the door to the charnel house – remain in All Saints, West Ham, the former parish church (dating from about 1180). None of the abbey's buildings remain, but archaeological investigations were carried out between 1973–94 on land cleared for the Jubilee Line extension, which terminates at Stratford and has train sheds in the area. 674 burials were excavated from the Cistercian cemetery and reburied at the Abbey in Sutton Coldfield. Excavation continues on the site as the remaining former factories are redeveloped. The latest, at Bakers Row, was in early 2008 and identified the former gatehouse of the Abbey - to the north east of the Abbey Church and defining the eastern edge of the precinct. This area, where former council stables were situated, is now protected from further development by Scheduled Ancient Monument status and a community garden is being created on the site by the "Friends of Abbey Gardens". [ [http://www.abbeygardens.org/ Friends of Abbey Gardens] accessed 8 May 2008]

The crest of the Abbey can be seen over the doorway to the Old Court House, in Tramway Avenue (Stratford). The chevrons from this device were incorporated into the arms of the County Borough of West Ham upon its incorporation. The Abbey is commemorated by two roads in the district, Abbey Lane and Abbey Road. It is also commemorated in the name of Langthorne Park, in Leytonstone in the neighbouring London Borough of Waltham Forest, opened in 2000 on land formerly owned by the Abbey, which had subsequently been the site of the West Ham Union Workhouse and then of Langthorne Hospital. [cite web|url=http://www.star-pix.demon.co.uk/wfparks/langthorne/history.htm|title=Langthorne History|publisher=www.star-pix.demon.co.uk|accessdate=2008-05-12|last=|first=]

References

Further reading

*Bruno Barber, Steve Chew, Tony Dyson, Bill White "The Cistercian Abbey of St Mary Stratford Langthorne" (2005) ISBN 1901992381


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Stratford Langthorne Abbey — Zisterzienserabtei Stratford Langthorne Lage Vereinigtes Konigreich  Vereinigtes Königreich England …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Stratford, London — Infobox UK place official name= Stratford map type= Greater London region= London country= England london borough= Newham constituency westminster= West Ham post town= LONDON postcode area= E postcode district= E15 dial code= 020 os grid… …   Wikipedia

  • Abbey Mills Pumping Stations — The original Abbey Mills Pumping Station, in Abbey Lane, London E15, is a sewerage pumping station, designed by engineer Joseph Bazalgette, Edmund Cooper, and architect Charles Driver, it was built between 1865 and 1868. It was designed in a… …   Wikipedia

  • List of abbeys and priories in England — Contents 1 Overview 1.1 Article layout 2 Abbreviations and key …   Wikipedia

  • Bow Back Rivers — The Bow Back Rivers are part of the River Lee in the London Borough of Newham, East London, and form a complex system of waterways. The River Lee was originally tidal as far as Hackney Wick, man made changes to the River had changed this… …   Wikipedia

  • Bow, London — infobox UK place country = England map type = Greater London region= London population= official name= Bow latitude= 51.5298 longitude= 0.0288 constituency westminster= Bethnal Green and Bow post town= LONDON postcode area=E postcode district=E3… …   Wikipedia

  • East End of London — The East End of London, known locally as the East End, is the area of London, England, east of the medieval walled City of London and north of the River Thames, although it is not defined by universally accepted formal boundaries. Use of the term …   Wikipedia

  • List of monasteries dissolved by Henry VIII of England — These monasteries were dissolved by Henry VIII of England in the Dissolution of the Monasteries. The list is by no means exhaustive, since over 800 religious houses existed before the Reformation, and virtually every town of any size had at least …   Wikipedia

  • Liste der Zisterzienserklöster — Dies ist eine Liste der Zisterzienserklöster des Ordo Cisterciensis, geographisch geordnet. Die Klöster der Trappisten und Trappistinnen (Zisterzienser der strengeren Observanz; O.C.S.O) sind im Artikel Liste von Klöstern aufgeführt. Nicht… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • List of Cistercian abbeys in Britain — This is a List of Cistercian monasteries (called abbeys) in Great Britain. The first Cistercian abbey in Great Britain was Waverley Abbey in Surrey, founded in 1128. In the next few years further abbeys were founded in other parts of England,… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.