Bisham Abbey in Buckinghamshire is not an Abbey in the true sense of the word, but a manor house built by the Templars, as part of a preceptory on the banks of the River Thames.
Robert de Ferres, Earl of Derby who lived during the reign of King Stephen (1135-1154), a Norman King, gave the land and manor to the Templars.
Templar remains consist of; porch – hall – undercroft – offices – upper chamber of medieval house.
At the Templar trials, one John de Donyngton reported that the Templars had four heads. 1) London 2) Temple Bruer 3) Bisham Abbey 4) North of the Humber, and all these were rumoured to have magical properties.
In 1320, following the suppression of the ‘Order of the Knights Templar’ the ‘Order of the Hospitaller’s were supposed to take over the property. However, King Edward II had other ideas, becoming a gift for his lover; Hugh Despenser, who was lated beheaded.
Located on the first floor of Bisham Abbey, one finds a room dedicated to King Henry VIII, where he stayed during the plague, as it swept across London.
King Henry VIII handed over Bisham Abbey as part of his divorce settlement with Anne of Cleves.
King Edward VI had her moved to similar properties, and in 1552 Sir Philip Hoby moved in.
Queen Elizabeth II was known to have spent much time at Bisham Abbey, as a guest of the Hoby’s whilst under house arrest by order of her sister ‘Mary Tudor.’
Margaret Hoby’s ghost was often seen washing her hands in shame in the upper rooms, for beating her son to death.
Located at the north-eastern end of the great hall, a restored painting of SS Peter and John the Evangelist can be found.