Missenden Abbey

14 Apr 2002
Missenden Abbey, High Street, Great Missenden, Chiltern, Buckinghamshire, HP16 0BB
Photograph (Digital)
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This information is taken from the statutory List as it was in 2001 and may not be up to date.

In the entry for;

SP 80 SE & SP 8901 GREAT MISSENDEN HIGH STREET (east side) 1/49 4/49 Missenden Abbey 10.3.83


The entry shall be amended to read;

SP 80 SE & SP 8901 GREAT MISSENDEN HIGH STREET (east side) 1/49 4/49 Missenden Abbey Missenden Abbey 10.3.83


Former country house incorporating fabric of an Augustinian abbey plus late phases of remodelling; now in use as a management & adult education centre. Abbey founded c1133 by William de Missenden; various phases of building until the Dissolution when leased as a country house in 1541; C16, C17 & C18 remodelling; c1806 remodelled & enlarged in Regency Gothic style for John Ayton, architect unknown; 1985 following a fire which gutted the building, interior remodelled with several rooms reconstructed. Medieval fabric remains incorporated in south & east walls & fabric incorporated in the interior.

Externally, all of early C19, restored following the fire with render, channelled to appear as ashlar. Slate roofs behind castellated parapets having string course at base. Rectangular plan with northern projections. 2 storeys with first floor string course. Asymmetrical western entrance front with 6 windows. Castellated porte-cochere to left of centre with doorway converted to a window. Post 1985 entrance to right with glazed porch.

Windows have Gothic or Tudor arched heads having hood-moulds and Y- tracery or transoms & mullions. Buttresses, terminating in pinnacles above the parapet, articulate bays. Right hand angle octagonal tower, with arrow-slit windows & domed roof surmounted by a cross, responds to symmetrical south garden front with 3 central buttressed bays having traceried Tudor arched windows, a 3-light oriel to first floor central bay & parapet rising to form a pediment; ground floor outer bays with traceried canted bay windows forming castellated balconies to first floor windows. North & east fronts in similar but less elaborate style. Interior completely remodelled c1985-88, by County Architect, Paul Markcrow, including surviving fabric from previous builds and reconstruction of some of the Regency Gothic plasterwork in the garden room and dining room. Garden room, dining room and lounge with good contemporary stained glass by David Pearl; surviving medieval stained glass roundels, imported for Gothic rebuild, incorporated in former western entrance. History: Missenden Abbey was the first Abbey to be founded in Bucks and the first or second Arrouaisian house in England; it was dissolved in 1583. Before the 1985 fire the east range attic retained 5 arch-braced trusses with 2 tiers of curved wind braces being a rare C15 or early C16 survival of the monk's dormitory; the south (frater ?) range had 1 similar truss at the east end; all now destroyed.

RCHM I p173 MON.6.

Missenden Abbey - A short history by Elaine Kaye, 1992


SP 80 SE & SP 8901 GREAT MISSENDEN HIGH STREET 1/49 4/49 (east side)

10.3.83 Missenden Abbey GV I

Found 1133 for Augustinian Canons. Monastic buildings adapted to a private house probably by 1574. Altered and enlarged in the "Gothic" style 1806-14 for John Ayton, Architect unknown. Important medieval fabric still extant inside house.

Externally all of early C19 date, cement faced and painted. Slate roofs behind castellated parapets with string course at base. Two storeys, first floor string course. Octagonal corner turrets with arrowslits, parapets, conical caps with cross finials. Thin buttresses crowned with pinnacles defining centres of west and south elevations. Gothic or Tudor arched heads with hoodmoulds and label stops to most openings. West elevation has porte-cochere left of centre, 3-light traceried window with stained glass in centre, 2-light windows each side, four 2-light Y tracery windows to first floor. Lower north wing attached on left. South front is symmetrical with parapet forming shallow central gable with pinnacle above, panelled oriel window to first floor, traceried doorway below. Similar openings each side and bay windows in outer bays. Four 3-light windows to first floor. North wing irregular, incorporating parts of the medieval structure notably the present kitchen which may be the Chapter House. Further traceried windows and projections with arrowslit openings.

Interior: Richly decorated Gothic Revival interiors to entrance hall and corridor.

Dining room, garden, hall and staircase, library and lounge. Several windows contain C16-18 Flemish or German stained glass roundels. East range attic contains C15 or early C16 roof of monks dormitory (a rare survival nationally). Five arch-braced trusses with hollow chamfered moulded timbers, two tiers of curved wind braces. South range (frater?) has one similar truss at east end.

RCHM I p 173 MON.6

Listing NGR: SP8959501112


This is part of the Series: IOE01/0595 IOE Records taken by Margaret I G Dixon; within the Collection: IOE01 Images Of England


© Mrs Margaret I.G. Dixon. Source: Historic England Archive

This photograph was taken for the Images of England project

People & Organisations

Photographer: Dixon, Margaret I.G.

Rights Holder: Dixon, Margaret I.G.


Render, Slate, Stone, Medieval Augustinian Monastery, Religious Ritual And Funerary, Monastery, Religious House, Counting House, Domestic, House, Dwelling, Further Education College, Education, Training College