In Hertfordshire, England. Founded c.793 by Offa, King of the Mercians. In 1077 Abbot Paul of Caen undertook the work of rebuilding; this was completed in 11 years and large parts of the structure still exist. The abbey was confiscated by King Henry VIII in 1530, but escaped destruction. Matthew Paris is probably the most famous monk of the foundation. In the late 19th century Lord Grimthorpe, at his own expense, undertook the restoration of the buildings, with unfortunate results.