Fr James Leachman wrote the original page of research into history of monks near Ealing.
Fr Dunstan Scott O.S.B. was the first monk professed at Downside to live in the vicinity. He came to live near Churchfield Road, Acton in about 1830. Father Dunstan Scott was the last of the London procurators of the English Benedictine Congregation. Archives on Fr Dunstan Scott are stored at Douai Abbey Library. There is a record of him visiting Fr Gregory Holden, Priest in Charge of the Whitehaven Benedictine Mission (1818 – 1853) in Whitehaven.
Dom Bernard Bulbeck, from Downside, later took up residence at Castlebar House in March 1897 after 20 years at Malvern, where he had lived until 1891, then later at Bristol. He was the first monk to live on the present Ealing Abbey property.
Monks Near London
There were several monasteries near London in Anglo-Saxon times and up until the Reformation. However, there is not much information about monasteries to the west of London, near Ealing.
The real date of the foundation of Westminster Abbey must probably always remain uncertain. Hardly any charter existing before the time of Edward the Confessor is not open to suspicion. There is no mention of the monastery in Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of England or in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle before the year 1040.
King Offa of Mercia, who may have been involved in monastic foundations Middlesex, is mentioned in Beowulf.
About the year 1000 the monastery of St Peter at Westminster (Westminster Abbey) possessed lands in Middlesex. The reference in Emma Mason’s book may refer to Ealing. She writes, “The properties around Hanwell also bordered the River Brent, and fronted the River Thames at the important ford at Brentford” (Westminster Abbey and Its People, C.1050-c.1216, by Emma Mason, p 9).
Ealing Monks 200 – 1000
The Anglo–Saxon Chronicle entry for AD 508 has no records for Ealing in Middlesex.
No later than 704, there exists a record of a grant of Ethelred, king of Mercia, of land at Ealing to Wealdhere, bishop of London (693-704):
“In the name of the Supreme God,
I Ethelred, king of the Mercians, with the permission of my councillors, grant to Wealdhere, bishop of London, a portion of land in the place which is called Ealing, that is, 10 hides for the increase of the monastic life in London.”
“English Historical Documents, 500-1042“, edited by Dorothy Whitelock, 488.