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The History of South Oxhey, Carpenders Park

and Watford

South Oxhey.

The Abbey Grange

The first historical reference to Oxhey comes from the time that it was in the south-east corner of the kingdom of Mercia. King Offa II of Mercia (757-796) traditionally founded the Benedictine Abbey of St Albans. He gave the district of Oxengehaege to the Abbey, it was rumoured, in expiation for a murder for which he felt responsible.

The monks ran it as a grange on which, were mainly the lay brothers, worked to provide food, fodder and firing for the Mother church. For a time the land was seized by 'wicked men', but in 1007 Æthelred the Unready restored it to the then abbot, Leofric, and built a new monastery chapel to replace one which was in ruins following a Viking raid.

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