About Douai Abbey
The Douai Park Recreation grounds take its name from the historic Benedictine Abbey and ongoing community The current location and naming of the area around it relates to the reforming of the original Parisian community in Douai in Northern France following the French Revolution circa 1820.
In 1903 the French government expelled the community and it was welcomed by the Bishop of Portsmouth and took up residence in the Woolhampton Area in what is now known colloquially as Douai Abbey in West Berkshire.
Douai Abbey took over St Mary’s College, Woolhampton, which overlooks the Kennet Valley, in Berkshire, and it was then to this community that the college and school at Douai transferred. The college had been the direct successor of a small school run by the last Chaplain to the Catholic family that in the 1830’s owned Woolhampton Manor.
Thus began the association of the park land with the Abbey and why it is called DPRA