Photographer: Sedgfield, William Russell
Medium: Photographic print
Medmenham Abbey "stands a few yards from the river's brink, in a pleasant and secluded spot, midway between Marlow and Henley. Of the ancient Abbey which formerly stood here we read that in the reign of Henry VIII. it was annexed to that of Bisham, at Marlow."
At the Dissolution of the Monasteries it passed into the hands of the Duffield Family who in the late 18th century leased it to Sir Francis Dashwood, founder of the infamous Hell Fire Club.
"The members of this society named themselves Franciscans, after its founder, and, if the description of their doings, given in the once popular novel of 'Chrysal, or the Adventures of a Guinea', can in any degree be believed, they were guilty of impiety and immorality to an extent that would be wholly incredible were there not in history so many authenticated instances of the gross depravity of which men in the highest ranks of society, but of sensual natures, can be capable."
Descriptive letterpress from the book 'The Thames Illustrated by Photographs'