Area Guide: Abbots Langley
- Credit: Archant
Abbots Langley was previously part of the Watford Rural District but became part of the Three Rivers District in 1974.
It still has a Watford (WD) postcode, and is near Kings Langley and Bedmond, between Hemel Hempstead and Watford.
The small village also has a parish council, which serves a large population of 23,000 residents.
There are a number of village community groups, including the bowling club, the gardening society, and the local history society.
There are also more than 10 primary and junior schools, academies, Church of England and Catholic schools in the area.
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According to Zoopla, the current average price for a detached house in Abbots Langley is £716,101, and £473, 860 for a semi-detached in the area.
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The average paid for a flat is £258,945.
The village is close to both Watford Junction and Kings Langley rail stations, and is only 20 minutes from London by train.
The M25 passes through the parish, and the M1 on the east side links the village with the north west of the country.
It is also well connected by water. The Grand Union Canal runs through the village, which has connections with Leicestershire, Birmingham, and Nottingham.
Landmarks and history
Abbots Langley started with humble origins in 1045, when two Saxons gave a long meadow, the langelei, to the Abbot and monks of the monastery in St Albans.
The land, around 120 acres controlled by the Abbot Paul de Caen, was valued at £10 in the Domesday book, shortly after the Norman invasion in 1066.
A claim to fame, Nicholas Breakspear was born on Breakspear farm in Abbots Langley.
When he later become the Abbot of the French St Ruf monastery in 1137, his emphasis on discipline caused some residents to petition the Pope to have him removed.
Instead of this, the Pope brought Breakspear to Rome to become the Cardinal Bishop of Albano.
He went on to become Pope Adrian IV in 1154, the first and only English Pope to be appointed.
It is said that Breakspear died choking on a fly while drinking wine, but experts are sceptical.
The parish church in Abbots Langley, St Lawrence the Martyr, was originally a saxon structure, but was later replaced by Norman architecture.
It is made with Totternhoe stone and flint, which are easily found nearby in the Chiltern Hills.
The church also features two large monuments to the Baron Raymond of Langleybury, Lord Chief Justice of England in 1724 to 1732, and his son.
Harry Potter fans will enjoy the Warner Brothers Studio Tour, which is a short drive from the village. It offers a close look behind the scenes of the film and book franchise.
Arty kids will enjoy the fun pottery painting workshop at Craft Tub in the high street.
Woodside playing field, 59 acres of playing fields, woodland and sports facilities, as well as two children’s play areas, is a 10 minute drive outside the village.
Adults will like the picnic opportunity at Green Flag Award winning Cheslyn House and Gardens, which can boast woodland areas and an aviary with finches, quail and budgerigars.
Since 1935, Abbots Langley have had a bowling club on The Green. It is 50 members strong and hosts matches on most weekends during playing season.
The Noor Mahal on the High Street is a highly regarded Indian restaurant which offers patrons the opportunity to eat in or take away.
The Compasses is traditional, friendly family owned pub on Tibbs Hill Road which serves pub grub, hosts a quiz night every Wednesday, and has a heated deck with large beer garden.
There is also a local chippy, The Lighthouse, on School Mead.
As both a rural and urban area, the local parish council have provided a PDF booklet outlining the various walks around the village on their website.
They are of varying lengths, between two and half and five miles long, pass local and historical landmarks, and most converge at St Lawrence the Martyr Church.