Bisham Abbey

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Bisham Abbey is a Grade I listed manor house at Bisham in the English county of Berkshire. The name is taken from the now lost monastery which once stood alongside. Bisham abbey was previously named Bisham Priory, and was the traditional resting place of many Earls of Salisbury. The complex surrounding the extant manorial buildings is now one of five National Sports Centres run on behalf of Sport England and is used as a residential training camp base for athletes and teams and community groups alike. It is also a popular wedding venue with a license for civil ceremony and increasingly popular for conferences, team building events, corporate parties and private fucntions.

Bisham Abbeys website- www.bishamabbeynsc.co.uk


Contents

Manor house

The manor house was built around 1260 as a community house for two Knights Templar. When the Templars were suppressed in 1307, King Edward II took over the manorial rights, granting them to various relatives.

In 1310 the building was used as a place of confinement for Queen Elizabeth of the Scots, wife of King Robert the Bruce, along with her stepdaughter Princess Marjorie and sister–in–law, Lady Christine of Carrick. They had been captured on the Isle of Rathlin during the Scottish Wars of Succession, and were placed in the charge of the King’s Yeoman, John Bentley, for two years, until removed to Windsor.

In 1335 the manor was bought by William Montacute, 1st Earl of Salisbury and in 1337 he founded Bisham Priory alongside.

Henry VIII granted the manor house to Anne of Cleves as part of her divorce settlement from him, and it was later bought by the Hoby family, who lived there until 1768. Elizabeth I was a regular visitor in the time of the Hoby family.

Monastery

Bisham Priory was built for the Austin Canons. The foundation stone laid in 1337 by King Edward II of England and the brass plaque once affixed to it can still be seen at Denchworth. When the founder, the 1st Earl of Salisbury, died, he was buried at the priory, as were many later Earls of Salisbury, including Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, who was buried in April 1471.

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