Langley (also known as
Langley Marish) is a village in the authority of
South East England. The name "Marish"
association with a marsh but is manorial in origin, the manor
having been held by the family of Mareys or, in Latinised
and 1311 during
the reign of
Edward I. The
village formed part of a much larger area known as Langley Marish.
The area stretched from as far as Gerrards Cross down to Colnbrook.
Until boundary reorganisation in 1974,
Langley was in the county of
Buckinghamshire. In the report
A History of the County of Buckingham: Volume 3 (1925),
pp. 294-301. The village gets the the unfortunate
distinction of being called "The Straggling Village".
The meaning of the word Langley comes from two old English words Lang
meaning Long and Leah meaning wood or clearing. The area was made up of a number of these
so called clearings. The original clearings; Middle Green, Horsemoor
Green, George Green, Sawyers Green and Shredding Green developed into small enclaves
of housing and were eventually merged into one larger village centred around the church in
St Marys Road. These
Langley Hall & Harrow Pond circa 1930. Today the
War Memorial stands where once ducks swam in the pond (courtesy
Langley village and these adjoining hamlets were part of the manor and
parish of Wraysbury and was most noted for its ties to the crown lands at Langley
Park. It remained in some degree of obscurity until the two were separated and Langley was
given its own vicar. It was not until 1639 though, that a vicar actually began to
reside in Langley itself, located in a vicarage at St Marys Church.
Surrounded by a large housing estate
the church of St Mary the Virgin. It includes a range of architectural
styles, and many features of interest. The greatest is the Kedermister
Library, which dates from c1623, said to have been used by John Milton
while living nearby. It still houses many ancient and valuable books, the room itself and it's decoration is pretty amazing.
The vicar's move allowed the village of Langley to grow on its own,
centred around the new parish church of St Marys (the oldest building in
circa 1150) which became the hub of the new village. The only other buildings at that time
were the Red Lion public house built in the 16th century
to provide money for church repairs and the original rectory (the old vicarage)
that formed part of the church.
The Red Lion pub was once owned by Langley parish church which faces the the pub on the other side of the road. The small house on the right of the picture was the old vicarage, demolished in the 1950's. In the background is the girls' school, founded as a Sunday School about 1830. It was used until a boarding school was built soon after 1870. (courtesy Slough Museum)
The villages move into prominence began when in 1547, the King,
Edward VI installed at Langley Park his representative a Mr John Kedermister to take care
of the his woodlands. Further development saw the village expand with
the introduction of almshouses for the
poor, set up firstly in 1617 by John Kedermister, by Henry Seymour in 1679-1687 and then
by William Wild in 1839. Whittington cottages at the corner of Langley Road and St
Marys Road created local housing and in 1830 Charles Depree set up a school just
north of the Red Lion.
In 1830 Charles Depree set up a school for girls in Langley, just north of the Red Lion and on it's former bowling green. It was also used as a Sunday school for both girls and boys.
Maurice Swabey transformed the school for only boys in 1846. There was opposition from the vicar of Langley (living in London at the time) who refused to sign the application to the National Society. Fortunately other members of the church were in agreement and the school was ready the following year.
In 1881 the Depree Charity School building became a rented dwelling home until its demolition in the 1960s, due to the widening of St Mary’s Road.
Slough History Online
St Mary's Church and the Kedermister Family
Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies
History of Langley Park
Frith Collection Map
There are several leaflets and books available,
Langley A Glimpse of the Past 1894-1907 by Roy Smith
A Walk in Langley Marish by Leslie Hackett
The Story of Slough by Judith Hunter
When Langley Lost its Greens by W Yarrow, M Aylward and J Hunter
St. Marys Langley Essays for the Millennium. J Hurst.
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