Kings Langley

Kings Langley

infobox UK place
|country = England
latitude= 51.71559
longitude= -0.45692
official_name= Kings Langley
population = 5,072 (Census 2001)
shire_district= Dacorum
shire_county = Hertfordshire
region= East of England
constituency_westminster= Hemel Hempstead
post_town= KINGS LANGLEY
postcode_district = WD4
postcode_area= WD
dial_code= 01923
os_grid_reference= TL067030

Kings Langley is an historic English village 21 miles north west of central London on the southern edge of the Chiltern Hills and now part of the London commuter belt. The major western portion lies in the borough of Dacorum and the east is in the Three Rivers district, both in the county of Hertfordshire, England. It was once the location of 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 2 miles south of Hemel Hempstead and 2 miles north of Watford.


A Roman villa has been excavated just south of the village.Site of Kings Langley Roman Villa at Online Archaeology - UK Archaeology Resource.]

The village originated in Saxon times when it was probably part of the lands of the Abbey of St Albans, 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 Berkhampstead and the Midlands of England.Lionel M, Munby, "The History of Kings Langley"]

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". For a time during the Black Death it was the seat of government. 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 castle in 1400. It was later removed to Westminster Abbey. 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.Kings Langley Local History and Museum Society]

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 Union canal dating from 1797 and the 1838 London and Birmingham Railway which later became the West Coast Main Line, (the main railway line from London to the north west) pass just east of the village at Kings Langley railway station. There are many businesses located near the station in home park industrial estate which has a newly built West Herts college specialising in engineering and construction.

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 M25, 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 imposing 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. It incorporates a highly visible wind turbine alongside the M25.

Kings Langley is home to a Waldorf School, the Rudolf Steiner School Kings Langley. This is built on the ground 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 School is the local comprehensive school, situated on Love Lane in the south west of the village.

Mentions in literature

*William Shakespeare's" Richard II", Act IV, Scene I (1595 ) is set in the garden of the palace at Langley.
*Emily Sarah Holt's novel "The White Rose of Langley" (1875) has many scenes in the palace. ( [ Download available] at project Gutenberg)



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



*cite book |last=Munby (ed) |first=Lionel M. |authorlink= |coauthors=Various |editor= |others= |title=The History of Kings Langley |origdate= |origyear=1963 |origmonth= |url= |format= |accessdate= |accessyear= |accessmonth= |edition= |series= |date= |year= |month= |publisher=Kings Langley branch of the Workers' Educational Association |location= |language= |isbn= |oclc= |doi= |id= |pages= |chapter= |chapterurl= |quote=

*cite book |last=Hastie |first=Scott |authorlink= |coauthors=Spain, David (photographs) |editor= |others= |title=Kings Langley, A Hertfordshire Village|origdate= |origyear=|origmonth= |url= |format= |accessdate= |accessyear= |accessmonth= |edition= |series= |date=1991 |year= |month= |publisher=Alpine Press Ltd |location=Kings Langley |language= |isbn=095076471X |oclc= |doi= |id= |pages= |chapter= |chapterurl= |quote=

*cite book |last=Hastie |first=Scott |authorlink= |coauthors=Spain, David (photographs) |editor= |others= |title=A Hertfordshire Valley |origdate= |origyear=|origmonth= |url= |format= |accessdate= |accessyear= |accessmonth= |edition= |series= |date= |year= |month= |publisher=Alpine Press Ltd |location=Kings Langley |language= |isbn=0-9528631-0-3
oclc= |doi= |id= |pages= |chapter= |chapterurl= |quote=

* [ Kings Langley, its history and local architecture] Kings Langley Local History and Museum Society. Accessed January 2008

* [ Kings langley Roman Villa] at UK Archaeology Map. Accessed January 2008

External links

* [ Kings Langley Secondary School]
* [ Rudolf Steiner School Kings Langley]
* [ Kings Langley Genealogy]
* [ Kings Langley Churches]
* [ Kings Langley and Bakau (Gambia) Link]

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