Barking Abbey was first founded in 666 AD by St Erkenwald. The abbey was demolished after its dissolution by Henry VIII in 1541, and for the next three centuries it was used as a quarry and a farm. The ruins of the main church, shown here, were excavated in 1910 and became a small park. Although Barking was originally in Essex, the town was absorbed by London in the nineteenth century. However, the surroundings of St Margaret's Church and Barking Abbey have remained as pastoral as they were when Robins painted them.