Note: Pages about areas of Slough such as this one are based on historic or accepted common usage rather than the artificial boundaries of the wards as set up by the Local Government Boundary Commission.
The name Langley comes from two Middle English words: lang meaning long; and leah which can paradoxically mean either wood or clearing. Langley came about as a result of the merging of a number of clearings: George Green, Horsemoor Green, Middle Green, Sawyers Green and Shreding Green. All but the area that formed Horsemoor Green are now parts of South Bucks.
Langley is famous as the home of the Hawker Hurricane fighter and the original Ford Transit Mk I van. The Hurricane and Transit are featured on their own pages. Click on a button below to open the page:
Church of St Mary the Virgin
A Grade 1 listed building, St Mary’s Church was built in the 12th century but has had several additions over the centuries. The tower and the north aisle arcade were built during the 17th century and the west porch added in 1818.
The church houses the Kedermister Library which was founded in 1613 by Sir John Kedermister and is kept in the original Jacobean-paneled cupboards built for it in 1620.
A catalogue which was created in the mid-17th century lists 307 volumes and a large portion of the library still survives. The oldest book in the collection is The Missale Romanum or Roman Missal printed in 1485. A missal is a book of prayers or devotions. Sir John Kedermister sponsored restoration of the church and donated four alms houses to the south of the church in 1617.
The war artist Paul Nash (1889-1946), who lived for some time in nearby Iver, is buried in the graveyard of St Mary’s.
Henry Seymour of Langley (1612-1686)
Henry Seymour joined the Royalist army in the English Civil War of 1642–51 serving under William, Marquess of Hertford. At the end of the war Seymour accompanied Prince Charles into exile and carried the last messages between the prince and his father, Charles I, before the King’s execution in 1649.
Following the restoration of the monarchy which began in 1660, Seymour sat in the House of Commons from 1660 to 1681. In 1666 Seymour leased the estate of Langley and later purchased the property in 1669. During his retirement, among other charitable acts, he donated an alms house built in 1679 for six poor elderly people. It is situated just to the north of St Mary’s Church.
Langley Hall was built in the 17th century. During the 18th century work the imposing façade was added. For some time in the 20th century it was known as Langley Place and was a preparatory school for boys. Then it became the Actors Orphanage under the direction of Noel Coward, providing a home for the children of actors who had died. Bomber Command took it over in the Second World War and then the Road Research Laboratory. It is now part of Langley College and a primary school.
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