Sunday, August 10, 2014

Medmenham Abbey: Heaven and Hell

In my blog post for English Historical Fiction Authors, I researched an abbey ruin like no other: Medmenham, a Cistercian community in Buckinghamshire.

Many people have vaguely heard of a Hellfire Club. The one most written about was formed by a rich English aristocrat, Sir Francis Dashwood, and met in the abbey he'd leased in the 18th century. He wanted privacy for his various misdeeds, whether just drunken silliness or actual depravity is up for debate.

Francis Dashwood, by Hogarth

But before it was a meeting place for the "Monks of Medmenham," it was an actual monastery, founded on lands granted by a very different sort of aristocrat, a medieval heiress. To learn about the history of this fascinating place, go here:

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