Sunday, 26 January 2014

Missenden Abbey

Missenden Abbey is a 12th century Augustinian Abbey founded in 1133. After the dissolution of the monastaries, Henry VIII gave the Abbey to his daughter Princess Elizabeth after which it was passed through various families as a private residence.
Through the years it underwent many changes and rebuilds...

until in 1946 the Carrington family sold the Abbey to Buckinghamshire County Council as an adult education centre.

After a major fire in 1985 the building was gutted and restored to its former splendor which included vaulted rooms, a ceremonial staircase, stained glass and ornate plasterwork, all of which were recreated with the aim of following the architectural traditions of the original building.

What I especially love are the stained glass windows which both respect the tradition of the building yet are also totally contemporary in their design.

This weekend the sunlight on Saturday was throwing the most wonderful reflections through the windows onto the walls and plasterwork...

which seemed totally fitting for a weekend when the focus of my teaching was colour.

It was the third weekend meeting of my City and Guilds class. We painted, dyed fabrics, stitched and immersed ourselves in colour...

and I reflected on how lucky I am to work in such a beautiful environment with such a fabulous group of ladies. It doesn't really feel like work.
I'll be teaching another Summer School this year and there will be a new level 3 C & G group starting in October. Please do get in touch if you are interested.


  1. Beautiful photos Gina, I love stained glass! It sounds an amazing building.
    V xxx

  2. How amazing that it has been restored so beautifully. the colours are wonderful - would certainly be a joy to teach there. Cheers

  3. What a wonderful restoration of such a beautiful building - the windows are so lovely. The weekend sounds very rewarding for everyone concerned and I wish I had more mental and physical energy and didn't live on the wrong side of the country!

  4. It looks beautiful- lots of inspiration for the students!!

  5. Glad you enjoyed your weekend Gina, and with the added bonus of sunshine!

  6. What beautiful windows! It sounds like a lovely weekend.

  7. Wow -- you ARE lucky! It would be wonderful to be surrounded by a building so steeped with history and beauty all day. Thanks for sharing some pictures!

  8. A long time since I visited Missenden Abbey Gina. You've made me want to go back there!

  9. It's so nice to see some bright colour today! The orange of your fabrics match the stained glass windows perfectly. I hope you have some of those stained glass windows in your classroom ;) Wendy x

  10. I miss Missenden! Lovely to see it again, and in sunshine :)

  11. Wonderful photos, Gina, thanks. I love those windows, too, I agree about them fitting the historical setting but having a contemporary feel. And thanks for the history of the building, I didn't know the bit about Henry VIII.


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