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Kings Langley is a historic English village and civil parish 21 miles northwest of central London on the southern edge of the Chiltern Hills. It is 2 miles south of Hemel Hempstead and 2 miles north of Watford. The major western portion lies in the borough of Dacorum and the east is in the Three Rivers district. It was once the location of Kings Langley Palace, a royal park and palace of the Plantagenet kings of England established by Edward I and his Queen Eleanor around 1280. The Dominican priory within the royal manor of Langley was founded in 1308 by their son,Edward II. By 1312 the church was not yet finished,because the body of Piers Gaveston, who was killed about this time, was not buried there until the end of 1314, when the ceremony took place with much state, the Archbishop of Canterbury and four bishops taking part in the funeral rites.At this period in history, interments were made within the church itself and rarely in the churchyard. The signboard for All Saints Church mentions that "this Church houses the tomb of the first Duke of York" He was Edmund de Langley/Edmund Plantagenet; he was originally interred in Kings Langley Priory, but at the dissolution of the monasteries, the tomb was brought down the hill and into the parish church in the village, where it rests to this day, but this was the only one so moved. It was discovered in the 1800's however that the tomb contained two other skeletons.All the other interments still lie under the ground on the site of the friary church. A school was built on the site in the early 1900s, and has expanded over the years to use the whole area of palace and friary. Excavations in the 1970s revealed the royal wine cellar, and a sketch plan of the friary church exists. Only one original building remains on the whole site. This was a part of the church complex and has been saved because it was used as a barn by farmers.
The priory of King's Langley was re-founded in June 1557 as a house of Dominican sisters, at the request, and for the benefit of seven nuns, formerly at Dartford in Kent.The Carter ancestors of U.S. President Jimmy Carter lived in the village between the years 1361-1588.
[Some material extracted from 'Friaries: King's Langley priory', A History of the County of Hertford: Volume 4 (1971), pp. 446-451[-text added by Geoffrey Gillon]