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Kings Langley is a historic Englishmarker village northwest of central Londonmarker on the southern edge of the Chiltern Hillsmarker and now part of the London commuter belt. The major western portion lies in the borough of Dacorummarker and the east is in the Three Rivers district, both in the county of Hertfordshiremarker, Englandmarker. It was once the location of Kings Langley Palacemarker, a Royal palace of the Plantagenet kings of England. The twelfth century parish church of All Saints houses the tomb of the first Duke of York.

It is south of Hemel Hempsteadmarker and north of Watfordmarker.

History

A Roman villa has been excavated just south of the village.

The village was probably part of the lands of the Abbey of St Albansmarker, although actual records have been lost. At the Norman conquest the manor was given to William's half brother Robert, Count of Mortain who let it to one Ralf. It is around the manor that the present village developed as a linear village lying on the old road from London to Berkhamsted and the Midlands of England.

Around 1276 the manor was purchased by Queen Eleanor and a palace and deer park built on the hill above the village. This gave the village the epithet "Kings". The village was once the location of Kings Langley Palacemarker, a Royal palace of the Plantagenet kings of England: a priory was founded next to the palace and remains of this can still be seen.

The church of All Saints was built during the 14th century on the site of an earlier church. The body of King Richard II was buried here for a time after his probable murder at Pontefract Castlemarker in 1400. It was later removed to Westminster Abbeymarker. The body of Edmund of Langley, died 1402, the fifth son of Edward III and the first Duke of York, still rests in the memorial chapel.
All Saints Church Kings Langley


The eighteenth century Sparrows Herne turnpike road (later the A41 trunk road) traversed the Chilterns via the valley of the River Gade and ran down the village high street. The sixteenth century Saracens Head public house is a coaching inn which flourished in this period.

The Grand Unionmarker canal dating from 1797 and the 1838 London and Birmingham Railway which later became the West Coast Main Linemarker, (the main railway line from Londonmarker to the north west) pass just east of the village at Kings Langley railway stationmarker. There are many businesses located near the station in Home Park Industrial Estate which is also home to the Construction and Engineering Centre of West Herts College.

Twentieth century housing developments have led to the village spreading out on either side of the main road. The A41 has now been diverted west of the village leaving the high street to local traffic for the first time in centuries.

The London orbital motorway, the M25marker, passes just south of the village (Junction 20) on an imposing viaduct across the River Gade valley.Kings Langley was the home of the makers of Ovaltine and the listed factory facade is now all that is left and still stands alongside the railway line among a new housing development. The Ovaltine factory itself has recently been converted into a series of flats and duplexes.

The former Ovaltine Egg Farm was converted into energy efficient offices which house Renewable Energy Systems. The complex incorporates a highly visible 225 kW Vestas V29 wind turbine alongside the M25.

Kings Langley is home to a Waldorf School, the Rudolf Steiner School Kings Langleymarker. This is built on the grounds of the old palace, of which only a small basement part of a pillar remains to be seen. There is also a small display cabinet of finds from the palace period in the school entrance foyer.

Kings Langley Schoolmarker is the local comprehensive school, situated on Love Lane in the south west of the village.

The village is to be twinned with Achiet-le-Grandmarker in France in November 2009, in honour of Christopher Cox from the village who won a Victoria Cross in fighting near Achiet-le-Grand in World War One.

Mentions in literature



Sport

Football

Kings Langley F.C.marker currently play in Division One of the Spartan South Midlands League.

Notes

  1. Site of Kings Langley Roman Villa at Online Archaeology - UK Archaeology Resource.
  2. Lionel M, Munby, The History of Kings Langley
  3. British History On-line
  4. Kings Langley Local History and Museum Society


References



External links




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