Original copper line engraving of Bisham Abbey, Berkshire from Britton’s Beauties published 1802.

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Published by Vernor & Hood, Poultry Sept 1 1802

Drawn by F. Nash : Engraved by W. Hawkins

An original copper line engraving from The Beauties of England and Wales (Volume I) written by John Britton in conjunction with his friend Edward Brayley. Volume I (1801) comprised the counties of  Bedfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire. Frederick Nash OWS was an architectural illustrator, lithographer and artist who became a member of the Old Watercolour Society, whose work appeared in much of the Beauties series. William Hawkins was an artist who flourished between 1784 and 1809.

This framed antique print is a view from the south-east towards the monastery and later manor house at Bisham, near Marlow in Berkshire. The original building was a preceptory, built in the C13th by two Knights Templar, and comprised a great hall and quadrangle. The manor was seised by Edward II in 1307, who used it as a gaol for several dignitaries, including Queen Elizabeth wife of Robert the Bruce. In 1335, it was granted to the Earl of Salisbury, William Montacute, who added the eastern apartments, which included a cloister, council chamber and cellar. Montacute also founded an Augustinian Priory in 1337 near the manor house. This Priory was dissolved in 1537, and unfortunately there are no remains of the original abbey church buildings. However, the manor house which survived was owned by several dignitaries, including Richard Neville, Earl of Salisbury and Warwick, who was buried at the priory. Bisham Abbey became part of the divorce settlement by Henry VIII on his fourth wife Anne of Cleves.

By the C16th, the manor transferred to the ownership of the Hoby family, and further Tudor rooms were built by Sir Philip Hoby to the north, including a dining hall and bay window. His brother added the brick tower visible in the background. Queen Elizabeth I was supposedly imprisoned here in her youth and later visited her captor, Lady Hoby, who featured later in Bisham Abbey’s infamous haunting.

The print is in a good clean condition and is available presented in an ivory conservation quality mount and framed with a light walnut and gold wood frame with acrylic glazing. Price – £30.00.

Approximate dimensions are:

Mount window: 175 x 125 mm

Frame overall size: 280 x 235 mm

Additional information

Weight 0.5 kg