BISHAM, a parish in the hundred of Beynhurst, in the county of Berks, 1 mile from Marlow, and 5 miles to the N.W. of Maidenhead, its post town and nearest railway station. It is situated in a beautiful country, on the banks of the river Thames. It was the site of a preceptory of the Knights Templars, founded in the reign of Stephen, and converted into a priory of the Augustine order by William de Montacute, in 1338. This priory had a revenue of about £327, and flourished nearly 200 years. It was then re-founded by Henry VIII., as a Benedictine abbey, but shortly after dissolved, and granted by Edward VI. to the Hoby family. In this parish are Temple Mills, formerly employed for the manufacture of copper articles, but now converted into paper mills. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Oxford, value £156, in the patronage of G. Vansittart, Esq. The church, which stands by the river, is dedicated to All Saints, and has recently been restored. The most ancient portions are in the Norman style; and the church contains some interesting monuments of the Hoby family.
There is also a district church dedicated to St. James, erected in 1850, at the village of Stubbings, the living of which is a perpetual curacy value £108, in the gift of H. Skrine, Esq. The fine old mansion called Bisham Abbey was erected by Sir Edward Hoby, who was Speaker of the House of Commons in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. It occupies the site and was built of the materials of the ancient abbey. Queen Elizabeth, when Princess, used to reside here, and there is a well still called the Princess Elizabeth's, also a large apartment in the mansion called the Queen's council chamber, in commemoration of her residence there. The abbey was the burial-place of the founder, of several Earls of Salisbury, of the great Earl of Warwick, and other eminent persons.