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Beaten 'til the Blood Ran
by David Nash Ford

Bisham Abbey, near Maidenhead, may well be haunted, but what can we see today to remind us of the story and the characters involved?.
Lady Hoby's Monument, Bisham Parish ChurchA quick walk up the drive of Bisham Abbey will give any visitor to the village a fine view of the beautiful old 13th century mansion converted, not from the original Abbey buildings, but from those of an earlier establishment belonging to the mysterious Knights Templar. The Abbey Church and monastic enclave stood to the north, beneath the present tennis courts. The gates are always open for those using the Sports Council’s facilities there. If you’re really fascinated by Wicked Lady Hoby though it is possible to make an appointment to view the interior. Lady Hoby’s portrait can be seen in the Great Hall, and the house contains other portraits of some of her children. A short distance away is Bisham Parish Church where Lady Hoby is buried. The church houses many spectacular monuments: all are very large and impressive, but Lady Hoby’s dominates the scene. She approved the design within her own lifetime. Her figure kneels in a widow’s mourning attire, surrounded by her seven children, including little Francis. Her face is white and drawn, her eyes cold. A visit is a must.

The Story
Folklore or Fact?




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