Missenden Abbey

If you are on the look out for a special venue for a corporate or social event, Missenden Abbey is a fantastic choice.

The 12th century abbey has a rich and varied history, dating back over 800 years, and it is now a dedicated conference, events and wedding venue, available to hire for all sizes of function.

The abbey is an ideal location for training events, meetings or strategy away days – with a range of spaces to use, depending on the type and scale of your event, sumptuous cuisine, and a specialist events team to help you get the most from your stay.

The 12th century abbey is also a fantastic wedding and party venue, with vaulted ceilings and dramatic landscapes, offering a stunning setting for both large events and intimate gatherings.

If you are interested in hosting an event at the abbey, please contact us to discuss your requirements. We offer a range of packages, or we can create a bespoke one to suit your needs perfectly.

If you are visiting the abbey, we strongly recommend sampling our award-winning chocolate brownie, as featured in our 2013 Cookbook .

A short history of Missenden Abbey

Missenden Abbey has an interesting history dating back over 800 years.

It was founded in 1133 by a group of Augustinian Canons from Northern France – and was particularly favoured by Henry III who accepted the abbot’s hospitality on a number of occasions.

At the dissolution of the monastery, the land was forfeited to the crown and left by Henry VIII to his daughter, the Princess Elizabeth. Soon after her accession to the throne, Elizabeth granted the abbey to her favourite, Robert, Earl of Leicester, and he in turn in 1574 to the Sir William Fleetwood, Recorder of London and Member of Parliament for the City.

The Fleetwoods kept the abbey as a manor house until the mid-18th century when the male line died out. It was then bought by a rich ironmonger from Holborn, James Oldham, who largely pulled down the old abbey building which had already been much altered by the Fleetwoods. In 1806, it was bought by John Ayton, who again rebuilt large parts of the abbey and left the Neo-Gothic structure we have today.

In 1815, the abbey was purchased by a family of West Indian Planters, the Carringtons, who settled in Buckinghamshire and devoted themselves to managing their extensive farms in Missenden and other villages in the county. It remained with the Carringtons until 1946, when family sold the house to Buckinghamshire County Council for use as an Adult Learning College.

Following a major fire in 1985, the entire interior was gutted and faithfully restored to its earlier splendour: vaulted rooms, the ceremonial staircase, stained glass windows and ornate plasterwork were all carefully recreated, in keeping with the architecture of the original building.

The restoration was finished in 1988, when the new building was officially reopened by HRH the Duke of Gloucester.

Missenden Abbey has been owned by Buckinghamshire New University since the 1990s, and is now used as a stunning location and venue for corporate and social events.

Walking and cycling in the Chilterns

There are many public footpaths around the abbey for exploring the local countryside. The Chiltern Hills are a beautiful, unspoilt corner of England that lie only a few miles to the north-west of London and yet have a very rural character. The Chilterns begin in Oxfordshire in the Thames Valley and stretch north east through Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire to Hertfordshire.

Around Great Missenden there are also extensive cycle routes, connecting with the Chilterns Cycleway – a great way to get around and explore this wonderful part of the country.

Gipsy Garden House

The former home of writer Roald Dahl, where he wrote his famous children's stories, is open to the public under the National Gardens Scheme. As well as the attractive gardens themselves, you can see the hut where Dahl actually produced his writing, and there is a children's maze' where the paving slabs have quotations from Dahl's writing, including; "Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?"

Accessible parking is available at the front of the abbey, next to reception. There are revolving doors which can be adjusted to allow easy access for wheelchairs.

The abbey is a 12th century listed building and because of this, there are no lifts, and access to the second floor is restricted. All the ground floor areas are accessible, including the reception, garden room, library, bar, dining rooms, and the coach house building where half of the bedrooms and meeting rooms are located.

Please let the reception staff know if you have any access requirements, so we can do our best to accommodate your needs.