Abbots Langley. History and information about Abbots Langley

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Abbots Langley has had a long history of human habitation. The ealiest traces of human habitation in the area were recorded by renowned archaeologist Sir John Evans (1823 1908).

Abbots Langley is on a saucer of clay covered by a layer of gravel, as a result water supply has never been a problem; in fact, in earlier times water could be drawn from wells just 20ft deep.

Adrian IV - the only English Pope

Nicolas Breakspear was born at Bedmonton near Abbots Langley in Hertfordshire. Born in about 1100, Nicholas Breakspear became Pope for four and half years in 1154.

He was the son of an educated but poor man and went travelling to get on in the world. He went to France to study and joined the monastery at St Ruf where in time he became its 10th Abbot. He went to Rome on Abbey business, but was spotted by the Pope, Eugenius III and was made a cardinal and Bishop of Albano in Italy.

Eugenius had died when he returned from Scandinavia in 1154, and Nicholas was elected Pope as Adrian IV.

History of Abbots Langley

Abbots Langley 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). Abbots Langley 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 20ft deep.

In 1045 the Saxon thegn Ethelwine ’the black’ granted the upper part of Langlai to St Albans Abbey as Langlai Abbatis, the remainder being the king’s Langlai. By the time of the Domesday Book in 1086 the village was inhabited by 19 families.