Medmenham Abbey  

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There was a Cistercian abbey founded in Medmenham in the 12th century, under the ownership of Woburn Abbey, though it was not officially recognised by royal charter until 1200. In 1547 at the Dissolution of the Monasteries the abbey was seized and given to the Moore family, and then sold privately to the Duffields. It was while in the possession of the Duffields that the abbey became infamous as the location of The Hellfire Club, formerly called the Monks of Medmenham.

In 1755, when Sir Francis Dashwood acquired the ruins of the ancient abbey from the Duffield family he and John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich attended a church service at St Peter's church in Medmenham where Sandwich let loose a small monkey into the church. The regular devotees fled in horror, sure that Satan himself had invaded their place of worship. Today the abbey is a private residence and is not open to the public.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Medmenham Abbey" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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