Twyford Abbey, brent, london, history of Twyford Abbey, london suburbs

A manor house, a 'Gothic' mansion and a nursing home, Twyford Abbey, is a fine historic building in the Western part of Brent

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twyford abbey
Twyford Abbey

Twyford Abbey started life in 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 house was sold to Thomas Willan, a stagecoarch proprietor. He wanted to turn the house into a 'Gothic' mansion. Architect William Atkinson designed an extension around the original house in a Gothic style, filled the genuine medieval moat and altered the church.

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, a Roman Catholic order who set up a nursing home there. St. Mary's church, disused at the time, was re-opened for weekly services in 1907.

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.

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© Brent Heritage website 2002