In the Shawdow of the Abbey
Bisham Church in Fifteen Minutes
Image: Bisham Church c.1850
The 12th century church of Bisham stands serenely on one of the loveliest reaches of the Thames. Restorations and additions have been achieved harmoniously, but its tranquility has remained undisturbed for a thousand years. It is unsurprising that it features in Simon Jenkins' book England's Thousand Best Churches and is the only church that he listed in this immediate area.
Bisham village was known by various other names in earlier centuries. It is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Bisteham and became home to an establishment of the Knights Templar, now Bisham Abbey.
Henry VIII intended Bisham to be a place for prayers to be said for the soul of his late Queen, Jane Seymour. The Priory was demolished by 1500 so the parish church was the main place of worship for the powerful families who lived at the Abbey. Wealthy families such as the Hoby family and then later the Williams family endowed the church making it a significant building rather than a small parish church
More information about the history of the Church and its links to Bisham Abbey can be found in the illustrated guide book, The Story of Bisham Church: A Short History and Description available for sale in the church itself or in our online shop. Proceeds from the sale of this book contribute towards the upkeep of the church and its unique historical monuments.
For specific details about the church and its unique historical treasures and links, click on the images below
The War Years in Bisham
Bisham resident, Historian, BCF Friend and longstanding BCF committee member Sheila Featherstone Clarke has recorded a number of fascinating podcasts about life in Bisham over the years. To hear her series on the war years, click on the link below.