In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Bisham like this:
BISHAM, or Bysham-Montague,-anciently Bustleham,-a parish in Cookham district, Berks; on the river Thames, 2 miles W by N of Cookham r. station, and 4 NW of Maidenhead. It has a post office, of the name of Bisham, under Maidenhead. Acres, 2,520. Real property, £5,491. Pop., 665. Houses, 136. The property is divided among a few. Bisham Abbey is the seat of G. Vansittart, Esq. A pointed doorway, an octagonal tower, and a hall are part of an ancient monastic edifice; and the rest of the mansion is of the ancient style of the Tudor architecture. ...
The hall was tastefully restored in 1859; and has at one end a dark oak gallery, at the other, a beautiful ancient lancet window. The scenery of the grounds of the mansion is very fine, and has engaged the pencil of some eminent artists. A preceptory of Knights Templars was early founded here; passed, in the reign of Stephen, to other knights; was converted into an Augustinian priory, in 1338, by Montacute, Earl of Salisbury; was changed into a Benedictine Abbey, a short time before the dissolution, by Henry VIII.; was afterwards given, by that king., to his repudiated wife, Anne of Cleves; was conveyed by her to Sir Philip Hobby, in exchange for his house in Kent; and was for three years the residence, under its owner's guardianship, of the Princess Elizabeth, afterwards Queen Elizabeth. The barn of the priory, the old moat round the garden, and the spring which supplied the Princess Elizabeth's bath, still remain. There was an extensive copper factory at Temple-mills; but it was recently converted into a paper factory. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Oxford. Value, £156.*-Patron, G. Vansittart, Esq. The church shows some traces of Norman architecture; but was destructively modernized about 1810, and restored in better taste a few years ago; and it contains some grand monuments of the Hobbys. Many persons of high historical note, especially Earls of Salisbury, Neville the king-maker, the famous Marquis of Montague, and Edward the last Plantagenet, were buried in the Abbey; but the monuments of all have disappeared. The vicarage of Stubbings is a separate charge. There is a national school.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Bisham has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Windsor and Maidenhead. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Bisham and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Bisham, in Windsor and Maidenhead and Berkshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 18th May 2013
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