TQ1883 : Twyford Abbey - northern corner of western elevation

taken 9 years ago, 3 km from Harlesden, Brent, Great Britain

Twyford Abbey - northern corner of western elevation
Twyford Abbey - northern corner of western elevation
Despite its name, Twyford Abbey was never an abbey at all.

Twyford Abbey started life in the middle ages as the West Twyford manor house. It belonged to the lords of the manor of West Twyford who owned the surrounding land. By 1593 it was the only inhabited house in West Twyford, with a small private chapel.West Twyford manor house was partially demolished around 1715 and the chapel rebuilt around that time.

In 1806 the manor was sold to Thomas Willan, a stagecoach proprietor of the Bull and Mouth Inn near Aldergate and owner of a large dairy farm in Marylebone Park (now Regent's Park).

Willan wanted to turn the house into a 'Gothic' mansion. He engaged architect William Atkinson, a pupil of James Wyatt who had designed the Duke of Kent's 'palace' on castle Hill to designed an extension around the original house in a Gothic style. As a consequence, the genuine medieval moat was filled in.

In keeping with the spirit of the age, Willan gave his house a romantic pseudo-monastic association, calling it 'Twyford Abbey'. In 1816 Twyford Abbey was described as 'striking and extremely fine'.

This was the only building in the area, and soon the name Twyford Abbey was applied to the whole of West Twyford.

In 1902 the Abbey was bought by the Alexian Brothers, who are a lay, apostolic Catholic Order who dedicate themselves primarily to live in the community and to participate in the ministry of healing. For almost 800 years, the Alexian Brothers have cared for the sick, the aged, the poor and the dying.

The Alexian Brothers converted Twyford Abbey into a nursing home. The Adjacent St. Mary's church, disused at the time, was re-opened for weekly services in 1907. Over the years, the Alexian Brothers enlarged and changed the house several times.

The nursing home closed in 1988 and as a result the Abbey now appears to be neglected.

Notes attributable to:
Brent Heritage website
LinkExternal link (Archive LinkExternal link )
Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright J Taylor and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
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TQ1883, 144 images   (more nearby )
Photographer
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Date Taken
Monday, 9 March, 2009   (more nearby)
Submitted
Sunday, 15 March, 2009
Category
Mansion   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TQ 18989 83194 [1m precision]
WGS84: 51:32.1072N 0:17.1506W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TQ 18981 83196
View Direction
East-southeast (about 112 degrees)
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