The MONUMENTS are very fine and contain beautifully inscribed tributes.  The majority are in memory of the Dukes and Earls of Bridgewater and their families.  The family was founded by Sir Thomas Edgerton, who became Viscount Brackley and Baron Ellesmere and was Keeper of the Great Seal under Elizabeth l, and Lord Chancellor of England under James l.  Sir Thomas had purchased Ashridge House from Queen Elizabeth, who had inherited it from her father who had appropriated it after the dissolution of the monastries in 1539.  It had originally been a college of monks of the Order of Bonhommes, founded in 1276 by Edmund, grandson of King John.

The BAS RELIEF above the altar in the Bridgewater chapel is by Sir Richard Westmacott.  It is called ‘The Midday Rest’ and considered one of his best works. This can be seen below:

The monument to the 8th Earl of Bridgewater refers to a legacy he left for the writing of treatises to show the wisdom of God as revealed in nature.  Eight essays were written and are known as ‘The Bridgewater Treatises’  They are kept in the British Museum, but short accounts are included here.

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