In St Helen’s Church they set up a decorative cross which was the focal point for their independence from the abbey. Although it sounds today like a religious sect, the Fraternity of the Holy Cross was in fact as much a committee devoted to the management of problems like the care of the poor and the maintenance of infrastructure for the common good. They built almshouses such as Long Alley in St Helen’s Churchyard and constructed the main bridge over the Thames. Much of their money was devoted to keeping this repaired as the trade it brought to the town was important to all their livelihoods.
Long Alley on the left and Brick Alley to the right
Very little outside space at the rear of the Long Alley houses
The rear of Brick Alley from the road leading back into the town centre
We are thoroughly enjoying Abingdon!