A HOUSING development is to be named after an Archbishop of Canterbury born in the village where the homes are being built.

Bewley Homes’ development at Park Farm, Oakley, has been named Canterbury Gardens, in honour of an Oakley-born William Warham who served during the reign of kings Henry VII and VIII.

Warham was born in Oakley in around 1450 and his family had lived in the area for several generations.

Canterbury Gardens, which is likely to be launched early next year, will comprise homes of between two and five bedrooms.

Educated at Winchester College and New College in Oxford, Warham practised law before taking holy orders.

He took the important legal position of Master of the Rolls in 1494, was consecrated as Bishop of London in 1502 and became both Lord Chancellor and Archbishop of Canterbury in 1504. In 1506, he became chancellor of Oxford University, while he was a key diplomatic adviser to King Henry VII.

Warham helped arrange the marriage between King Henry VII’s son Prince Arthur to Catherine of Aragon in 1501; the young prince died the following year aged just 15.

In 1509, Warham presided over the wedding of Arthur’s brother Henry VIII to the same bride, before crowning Henry VIII as monarch just weeks after the wedding.

More than 20 years later, Warham was involved in the negotiations to have the marriage between King Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon annulled. Warham died in 1532 and is buried in Canterbury Cathedral.

Bewley Homes’ sales and marketing director Elaine Stratford said: “William Warham was a pre-eminent figure in the Tudor period, rising to truly lofty heights in his chosen fields of the law and the church. Canterbury Gardens was an ideal choice of name for our new development to mark Oakley’s connection with this fascinating history.”