Medmenham Abbey, Buckinghamshire

Cistercian Monks

Although what remains today looks distinctly un-genuine, Medmenham was indeed a Cistercian Abbey dating back to the 12th Century when it was a satellite of Woburn Abbey. It remained a fairly minor place and was in one of the last waves of the Dissolution in 1547.

The Crown granted the Abbey to the Moore family who sold it to the Duffields. They lived here for the next few centuries and founded the infamous Hell Fire Club (also called the Monks of Medmenham). In 1755 they sold the ruined Abbey to Sir Francis Dashwood who took the Hell Fire Club to new levels of craziness and debauchery until it was forcibly closed down.

There is a motto above the Abbey's door - "Do As You Please".

Today the Abbey is a private residence and is best seen from the Thames.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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and Shaun Runham
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