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the history of Leyton and Leytonstone
from . dot to … dots – with plenty of spaces
Land and the Church
In the two or three generations after the Norman Conquest considerable landholdings were given to religious institutions, a transfer of wealth and power that is taken at its face value as an act of piety. (Between 1162 to 1170 there was a terrible conflict between King Henry II and his chosen Archbishop of Canterbury, ending in the murder of Thomas Becket.)
Around 1200 Stratford Langthorne Abbey founded in 1135 1 was given the church and manor of Leyton (not the separate manor of Ruckholt) which included Wallwood 2 and became known as the Grange manor. This manor was, from the field boundaries shown in the 19th century ‘tithe map’, probably cultivated in long ploughing strips in a WSW-ENE alignment (that has carried through into the modern street layout), rather than compact enclosed fields. The ‘Grange’ would have been the building from which cultivation and harvesting was closely supervised. The Abbey was granted hunting rights in Wallwood from 1248 3.
Land in Ruckholt Manor by what is now Langthorne Road 2 was given to the Augustinian priory of nuns, dedicated to St John the Baptist, at Halliwell Shoreditch (between Shoreditch High Street, Curtain Road, Batemans Row and Holywell Lane, of which nothing remains above ground) founded about 1150. Two 13th century column bases from the nunnery church were discovered by MoLA where the East London underground line was being extended through Shoreditch 4).
The Augustinian Priory at Aldgate dedicated to the Holy Trinity was given Cann Hall (part of Wanstead until the late 19th c) about 1120 2, one of the Priory’s first gifts.
3 ‘An Account of "Wallwood", Leytonstone, from 1200-1960’ by Frederick Temple, Part H, Vol. 1, Third series, Transactions of the Essex Archaeological Society (1964) and reprinted by Leyton & Leytonstone Historical Society