On 22nd April 2018 we took to the streets of London for our latest URBEX tour.
Our first explore of the day took us to Twyford Abbey where we had the pleasure of exploring the spectacular gothic style former mansion and nursing home.
The Manor House
Twyford Abbey was originally built in the Middle Ages and was known as the West Twyford Manor House. It belonged to the lords of the manor of West Twyford who also owned the surrounding land.
By the year 1593 Twyford Abbey was the only inhabited house in West Twyford and included it’s own private chapel.
Around 1715 the West Twyford Manor House was partially demolished and the chapel was rebuilt around the same time.
The Manor House was sold to Thomas Willan, a stagecoach proprietor in 1806, with plans to turn it into a Gothic style mansion. With these plans in mind architect William Atkinson designed a Gothic style extension around the original house, filled in the originally medieval moat and altered the look of the chapel.
Willan called his house a new name and it’s been called Twyford Abbey ever since. The building has been described as striking and extremely fine. Since the house was the only building in the area at the time, the name Twyford Abbey was applied to the whole of the area.
The Nursing Home
In 1902 the house was bought by the Alexian Brothers, a Roman Catholic order of monks who converted the building into a nursing home.
A few years later the disused nearby St Mary’s church was re-opened for weekly services in 1907.
The nursing home closed it’s doors in 1988 and the abbey was left abandoned and neglected until recently. There are rumours developers are planning to transform the house into a secondary school.
During our explore we could clearly see that work is now being done to regenerate the abbey and most of what we saw was construction work. With that said there are still some amazing sights to see in the abbey including the beautiful chandeliers, amazing open fireplaces and the overall feel to the building was light and pleasant.
The final room we entered was on the ground floor and was set out with a red sofa and other bits of furniture. It appeared as though the room was being used as a presentation room as there were story boards set up with plans for the renovations.