The Info List - Henley-on-Thames

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/ˈhɛnliː ɒn ˈtɛmz/ ( listen) is a town and civil parish on the River Thames
River Thames
in Oxfordshire, England, 9 miles (14 km) northeast of Reading, 7 miles (11 km) west of Maidenhead
and 23 miles (37 km) southeast of Oxford, near the tripoint of Oxfordshire, Berkshire
and Buckinghamshire. The population at the 2011 Census was 11,619.[1]


1 History 2 Landmarks and structures 3 Property 4 Transport 5 Well-known institutions and organisations 6 Rowing 7 Other sports 8 Notable people 9 See also 10 Media 11 References 12 Further reading 13 External links

History[edit] The first record of Henley is from 1179, when it is recorded that King Henry II "had bought land for the making of buildings". King John granted the manor of Benson and the town and manor of Henley to Robert Harcourt in 1199. A church at Henley is first mentioned in 1204. In 1205 the town received a paviage[clarification needed] grant, and in 1234 the bridge is first mentioned. In 1278 Henley is described as a hamlet of Benson with a chapel. The street plan was probably established by the end of the 13th century. As a demesne of the crown it was granted in 1337 to John de Molyns, whose family held it for about 250 years. It is said that members for Henley sat in parliaments of Edward I and Edward III, but no writs have been found to substantiate this. The existing Thursday market, it is believed, was granted by a charter of King John. A market was certainly in existence by 1269; however, the jurors of the assize of 1284 said that they did not know by what warrant the earl of Cornwall held a market and fair in the town of Henley. The existing Corpus Christi fair was granted by a charter of Henry VI. During the Black Death
Black Death
pandemic that swept through England
in the 14th century, Henley lost 60% of its population.[2] A variation on its name can be seen as "Henley up a Tamys" in 1485.[3] By the beginning of the 16th century the town extended along the west bank of the Thames from Friday Street in the south to the Manor, now Phyllis Court, in the north and took in Hart Street and New Street. To the west it included Bell Street and the Market Place. Henry VIII granted the use of the titles "mayor" and "burgess", and the town was incorporated in 1568 in the name of the warden, portreeves, burgesses and commonalty. The original charter was issued by Elizabeth I but replaced by one from George I in 1722.[4] Henley suffered at the hands of both parties in the Civil War. Later, William III rested here on his march to London
in 1688, at the nearby recently rebuilt Fawley Court, and received a deputation from the Lords. The town's period of prosperity in the 17th and 18th centuries was due to manufactures of glass and malt, and trade in corn and wool. Henley-on-Thames
supplied London
with timber and grain. A workhouse to accommodate 150 people was built at West Hill in Henley in 1790, and was later enlarged to accommodate 250 as the Henley Poor Law Union workhouse.[5] Landmarks and structures[edit]

Henley Bridge
Henley Bridge
over the River Thames

Henley Bridge
Henley Bridge
is a five arched bridge across the river built in 1786. It is a Grade I listed building. During 2011 the bridge underwent a £200,000 repair programme after being hit by the boat Crazy Love in August 2010.[6] About a mile upstream of the bridge is Marsh Lock.

Henley Bridge, engraved in 1812 from a drawing by J. P. Neale, and published in The Beauties of England
and Wales

Chantry House is the second Grade I listed building in the town. It is unusual in having more storeys on one side than on the other.[7]

Chantry House, next to the church

The Church of England
parish church of St Mary the Virgin is nearby, and has a 16th-century tower. The Old Bell is a pub in the centre of Henley. The building has been dated from 1325: the oldest-dated building in the town.[8] To celebrate Queen Victoria's Jubilee[which?], 60 oak trees were planted in the shape of a Victoria Cross near Fair Mile.[9] Two notable buildings just outside Henley, in Buckinghamshire, are:

Fawley Court, a red-brick building designed by Christopher Wren
Christopher Wren
for William Freeman (1684) with subsequent interior remodelling by James Wyatt and landscaping by Lancelot "Capability" Brown. Greenlands, which took its present form when owned by W. H. Smith
W. H. Smith
and is now home to Henley Business School

Property[edit] Lloyds Bank's analysis of house price growth in 125 market towns in England
over the year to June 2016 (using Land Registry data), found that Henley was the second-most expensive market town in the country with an average property price of £748,001.[10] Transport[edit]

from the playground near the railway station

The town's railway station is on the Henley Branch Line
Henley Branch Line
from Twyford. There are direct trains into London
Paddington during peak hours. At other times one must change trains at Twyford. There are express mainline rail services from Reading (6  miles or 10 km away) to Paddington. Trains from High Wycombe
High Wycombe
(12 miles or 20 km away) go to London
Marylebone. The M4 motorway
M4 motorway
(junction 8/9) and the M40 motorway
M40 motorway
(junction 4) are both about 7 miles (12 km) away. The bus service around the town is operated by Whites Coaches as routes 151, 152, 153 and 154; other routes are provided by Arriva Shires & Essex, Thames Travel
Thames Travel
and Courtney Coaches. Well-known institutions and organisations[edit] The River and Rowing Museum, located in Mill Meadows, is the town's one museum. It was established in 1998, and officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II. The museum, designed by the architect David Chipperfield, features information on the River Thames, the sport of rowing, and the town of Henley itself. The University of Reading's Henley Business School
Henley Business School
is near Henley, as is Henley College. Rowing[edit]

A race during the Henley Royal Regatta

Henley is a world-renowned centre for rowing. Each summer the Henley Royal Regatta is held on Henley Reach, a naturally straight stretch of the river just north of the town. It was extended artificially. The event became "Royal" in 1851, when Prince Albert became patron of the regatta.[11] Other regattas and rowing races are held on the same reach, including Henley Women's Regatta, the Henley Boat Races
Henley Boat Races
for women's and lightweight teams between Oxford
and Cambridge University, Henley Town and Visitors Regatta, Henley Veteran Regatta, Upper Thames Small Boats Head, Henley Fours and Eights Head, and Henley Sculls. These "Heads" often attract strong crews that have won medals at National Championships.[citation needed] Local rowing clubs include:

Henley Rowing Club (located upstream of Henley Bridge) Leander Club
Leander Club
(world-famous, home to Olympic and World Champions, near Henley Bridge) Phyllis Court Rowing Club (part of the Phyllis Court Club and set up for recreational rowing) Upper Thames Rowing Club
Upper Thames Rowing Club
(located just upstream from the 3/4-mile mark/Fawley/Old Blades) Henley Whalers
Henley Whalers
(associated with UTRC) focus on fixed-seat rowing and sailing.

The regatta depicted throughout Dead in the Water, an episode of the British detective television series Midsomer Murders, was filmed at Henley. Other sports[edit] Henley has the oldest Football team Henley Town F.C.
Henley Town F.C.
recognised by the Oxfordshire
Football Association, they play at The Triangle ground. Henley also has a rugby union club Henley Hawks which plays at the Dry Leas ground, a hockey club Henley Hockey Club which plays at Jubilee Park, and Henley Cricket Club which has played at Brakspear Ground since 1886.[12] Notable people[edit]

Sir William McAlpine, 6th Baronet
Sir William McAlpine, 6th Baronet
lives on the outskirts of Henley, in Fawley Hill. Sir Martyn Arbib led the Perpetual fund management company during the late 20th century, unusually based in Henley-on-Thames, rather than London. Arbib was a major benefactor in the establishment of the River and Rowing Museum at Henley, which opened in 1998. Mary Blandy
Mary Blandy
lived at Blandy House her family's home in Henley, now a dental surgery. In 1752, she was hanged for the murder, by poisoning, of her father, Francis Blandy who had opposed her engagement to a Scottish man who was already married. She proclaimed on the day of the hanging in Oxford: "Gentlemen, don't hang me high for the sake of decency". Mary is buried with her parents at St Mary The Virgin's Church, despite that being forbidden at the time for a murderer.[13] She is said to haunt the Kenton Theatre the family house and St Mary's churchyard.[14] Sir William Hamilton KB, PC, FRS, FRSE, British diplomat, antiquarian, archaeologist and vulcanologist was born here in 1730. The American science fiction writer James Blish
James Blish
(1921–1975) lived in Henley from 1968 until his death. Actor Orlando Bloom
Orlando Bloom
has property in Henley-on-Thames. Jonathan Bowden lived in Rotherfield Peppard
Rotherfield Peppard
(post town Henley-on-Thames) throughout the 1970s. British engineer Ross Brawn, best known for his role as the technical director of the Scuderia Ferrari
Scuderia Ferrari
f1 team and former team principal of Mercedes Grand Prix. Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
led the Queen's Own Oxfordshire
Hussars, (C Squadron) who were based at "The White House" on Market Place in 1908 and some years after that. Sir Frank Crisp
Sir Frank Crisp
(1843–1919), first baronet, lawyer and microscopist, the ideator of Friar Park. The "Ballad of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let It Roll)" composed by the former Beatle
George Harrison
George Harrison
is dedicated to him. Scriptwriter Richard Curtis
Richard Curtis
owns a holiday home in the parish.[citation needed] Esther Deuzeville (1786–1851), as Esther Copley later a writer of children's books and works on domestic economy addressed to the working people, lived here with her parents until her marriage in 1809. There is a plaque to her and her family in the United Reformed Church.[15] French general Charles-François Dumouriez
Charles-François Dumouriez
(1739–1823) is buried at St Mary the Virgin parish church. The Freeman family of Fawley Court: Several generations of Freemans lived at Fawley Court
Fawley Court
on the outskirts of Henley from 1684 to 1852. They contributed significantly to the development of Henley and the surrounding area as well as more generally to architecture and the study of antiquities ( John (Cooke) Freeman
John (Cooke) Freeman
and Sambrooke Freeman), and veterinary science and equitation (Strickland Freeman). Humphrey Gainsborough
Humphrey Gainsborough
(1718–1776), brother of the artist Thomas Gainsborough, was a pastor and inventor who lived in Henley. A blue plaque marks his house, "The Manse". Musician and former Beatle
George Harrison
George Harrison
(1943–2001) purchased and restored the buildings and gardens of Friar Park, Henley-on-Thames
in 1970, and lived there until his death. His widow, Olivia Harrison, continues to live on the estate. Michael Heseltine, Baron Heseltine of Thenford preceded Boris Johnson as Conservative MP for Henley-on-Thames. Singer Vince Hill
Vince Hill
lives in Henley-on-Thames. Tony Hall, Baron Hall of Birkenhead lives in Henley-on-Thames. Dr John Hunt, Baron Hunt of Fawley
John Hunt, Baron Hunt of Fawley
had a house in Henley, where he lived from his retirement until his death. Politician Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson
was the Member of Parliament until he resigned after being elected Mayor of London
in 2008. Politician William Lenthall
William Lenthall
(1591–1662) was born in Henley-on-Thames. He was Speaker of the House of Commons between 1629 and 1640. Jewellery historian Jack Ogden lives in Henley-on-Thames. Author George Orwell
George Orwell
(1903–1950) spent some of his formative years in Henley-on-Thames
and the nearby village of Shiplake. Broadcaster Andrew Peach lives in Henley with his wife and two children. Prince Stanisław Albrecht Radziwiłł (1917–1976) is buried at St Anne's church, Fawley Court
Fawley Court
just outside Henley, where he founded the Divine Mercy College. Singer Lee Ryan
Lee Ryan
lives in Henley. Mathematician Marcus du Sautoy
Marcus du Sautoy
lives in Henley.

The actor David Tomlinson, who was born and raised in the town. Seen here in the 1964 film Mary Poppins

Broadcaster Phillip Schofield
Phillip Schofield
lives in Henley with his wife and two daughters. Financier Urs Schwarzenbach
Urs Schwarzenbach
lives at Culham
Court, Aston, east of Henley. Entrepreneur, philanthropist and workplace revolutionary Dame Stephanie Shirley lives in Henley with her husband. Singer Dusty Springfield
Dusty Springfield
(1939–1999) has a gravesite and marker in the grounds of St Mary the Virgin parish church. Her ashes were scattered in Henley and in Ireland at the Cliffs of Moher. Each year her fans gather in Henley to celebrate "Dusty Day" on the closest Sunday to her birthday (16 April). Sir Ninian Stephen, Australian judge and Governor-General of Australia (1982–1989) was born in Henley Harry Stott, joint winner of I'd Do Anything and star of TV show Roman Mysteries. Actor David Tomlinson
David Tomlinson
(1917–2000) was born and raised in Henley. Actor Jonathan Lloyd Walker was born and raised here. He now lives in West Vancouver, Canada.

See also[edit]

Brakspear Brewery, founded in 1779 but now moved to Witney Henley Festival, held each July Leander Club, one of the world's oldest rowing clubs Henley shirt, a garment named after the town because it was the traditional uniform of the rowing clubs Stuart Turner Ltd, Henley-based engineering company founded in 1906

Media[edit] Henley's Local newspaper is the Henley Standard. The Henley Magazine is produced for the Town Council. BBC Radio Berkshire
(94.6,95.4,104.1,104.4), Heart Berkshire
(97.0, 102.9, 103.4), Reading 107 (107.0), all broadcast from Reading, serve an area including Henley, as does Time 106.6
Time 106.6
(106.6) broadcast from Slough. London's radio stations such as Capital FM and Magic 105.4 along with a few others can also be received. Regatta Radio (87.7) is broadcast during Henley Royal Regatta. Henley is on an overlap of TV regions, It is possible to receive signals from both BBC London
and BBC South
BBC South
transmitters, as well as ITV London
and ITV Meridian (West). However, the local relay transmitter for Henley only broadcasts programmes from ITV and BBC London, making Henley the only part of Oxfordshire
included within the London
television region. References[edit]

^ "Area: Henley-on-Thames
(Parish): Key Figures for 2011 Census: Key Statistics". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 3 November 2015.  ^ Hylton, Stuart (2007). A History of Reading. Phillimore & Co Ltd. p. 34. ISBN 978-1-86077-458-4.  ^ Plea Rolls of the Court of Common Pleas; CP 40/892; http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT3/R3/CP40no892/aCP40no892fronts/IMG_0051.htm; first entry ^ Lewis, Samuel, ed. (1931) [1848]. "Hendred, East – Henstead". A Topographical Dictionary of England
(Seventh ed.). London: Samuel Lewis. pp. 478–482. Retrieved 26 April 2014.  ^ "Henley, Oxfordshire". The Workhouse. Retrieved 17 July 2013.  ^ "Bridge damage costs £200,000 in repairs". Henley Standard. 5 September 2011. Archived from the original on 26 April 2014.  ^ Historic England. "Chantry House  (Grade I) (1047033)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 26 April 2014.  ^ [1], Brakspear's Website ^ [2] Google Maps ^ "The 10 most expensive market towns revealed - Money Observer". www.moneyobserver.com.  ^ ""Royal Patronage", Henley Royal Regatta". Archived from the original on 2 September 2013.  ^ "About Us - Henley Cricket Club". www.henleycricketclub.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-04-17.  ^ Oxford
Dictionary of National Biography, (Mary Blandy) Andrea McKenzie OUP, Accessed 21 June 2015 ^ Mysterious Britain and Ireland, Accessed 21 June 2015 ^ Mitchell, Rosemary, "Copley, Esther (1786–1851)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. (Oxford: OUP, 2004). [3]. Subscription required, accessed 8 May 2010

Further reading[edit]

Allison, Barbara (2011). "Henley's Major Inns in the Seventeenth and Early Eighteenth Centuries". Oxoniensia. Oxfordshire
Architectural and Historical Society. LXXVI: 55–79. ISSN 0308-5562. 

Cardinals, The (2014). "Friar Park: A Pictorial History". Campfire Publishing. ISBN 978-1502573261. 

Sherwood, Jennifer; Pevsner, Nikolaus (1974). Oxfordshire. The Buildings of England. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. pp. 335–345. ISBN 0-14-071045-0. 

Townley, Simon C, ed. (2011). A History of the County of Oxford. Victoria County History. 16: Binfield Hundred (Part One): Henley-on-Thames
and Environs. Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer. ISBN 978-1-904356-38-7.  "The Henley Guide. With fifteen illustrations". London: Hickman and Stapledon. 1826 inconsistent citations  

External links[edit]

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Henley-on-Thames.

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Henley-on-Thames.


v t e

The district of South Oxfordshire

Oxfordshire County Council elections District Council elections Henley County Constituency Wantage
County Constituency


Didcot Henley-on-Thames Thame
(Moreton) Wallingford Watlington (Christmas Common, Northend)

Large villages

Benson (Preston Crowmarsh) Berinsfield Brightwell-cum-Sotwell
(Brightwell, Mackney, Sotwell) Chalgrove Chinnor
(Emmington, Henton, Oakley) Cholsey
(Winterbrook) Crowmarsh
( Crowmarsh
Gifford, North Stoke, Mongewell, Newnham Murren) Ewelme Garsington Goring-on-Thames Great Milton Horspath
(Bullingdon Green) Sandford-on-Thames Shiplake
(Lower Shiplake) Sonning Common Wheatley (Littleworth) Woodcote

Other civil parishes (component villages and hamlets)

Adwell Aston Rowant Aston Tirrold Aston Upthorpe Baldons, (Baldon Row, Marsh Baldon, Toot Baldon) Beckley and Stowood (Beckley, Stowood) Berrick Salome
Berrick Salome
(Berrick Prior, Roke, Rokemarsh) Binfield Heath Bix and Assendon (Bix, Bix Bottom, Lower Assendon, Middle Assendon) Brightwell Baldwin Britwell Salome Checkendon Clifton Hampden
Clifton Hampden
(Burcot) Crowell Cuddesdon and Denton (Cuddesdon, Denton) Culham Cuxham with Easington (Cuxham, Easington) Dorchester Drayton St. Leonard East Hagbourne
East Hagbourne
(Coscote) Elsfield Eye and Dunsden
Eye and Dunsden
(Sonning Eye, Dunsden Green, Playhatch) Forest Hill with Shotover (Forest Hill, Shotover) Goring Heath
Goring Heath
(Whitchurch Hill, Cray's Pond) Great Haseley
Great Haseley
(Latchford, Little Haseley, North Weston, Rycote) Harpsden Highmoor (Satwell) Holton Ipsden Kidmore End
Kidmore End
(Gallowstree Common) Lewknor
(Postcombe, South Weston) Little Milton Little Wittenham Long Wittenham Mapledurham
(Trench Green, Chazey Heath) Moulsford Nettlebed Newington (Great Holcombe) North Moreton Nuffield Nuneham Courtenay Pishill with Stonor (Pishill, Stonor, Maidensgrove, Russell's Water) Pyrton
(Clare, Standhill) Rotherfield Greys Rotherfield Peppard Shirburn South Moreton
South Moreton
(Fulscot) South Stoke (Littlestoke) Stadhampton
(Chiselhampton, Brookhampton, Ascott) Stanton St. John
Stanton St. John
(Woodperry) Stoke Row Stoke Talmage Swyncombe Sydenham (Kingston Stert) Tetsworth Tiddington-with-Albury (Tiddington, Albury) Towersey Warborough
(Shillingford) Waterperry with Thomley (Waterperry, Thomley) Waterstock West Hagbourne Wheatfield Whitchurch-on-Thames Wilcote Woodeaton

Former districts and boroughs

Bullingdon Rural District Municipal Borough of Henley-on-Thames Henley Rural District Thame
Urban District Municipal Borough of Wallingford Wallingford Rural District Crowmarsh
Rural District Culham
Rural District Goring Rural District Headington Rural District Thame
Rural District

Former constituencies

County Constituency Wallingford Borough Constituency Abingdon Borough Constituency Berkshire
North or Abingdon County Constituency Abingdon County Constituency

List of Parliamentary constituencies in Oxfordshire List of places in Oxfordshire List of civil parishes in Oxfordshire

v t e

Ceremonial county of Oxfordshire


Boroughs or districts

District of Cherwell City of Oxford District of South Oxfordshire District of the Vale of White Horse District of West Oxfordshire

Major settlements

Abingdon-on-Thames Banbury Bicester Burford Carterton Charlbury Chipping Norton Didcot Faringdon Henley-on-Thames Oxford Thame Wallingford Wantage Watlington Witney Woodstock See also: List of civil parishes in Oxfordshire


Flag Parliamentary constituencies County Council elections* Places Sites of Special
Scientific Interest Places Schools Country houses Grade I listed buildings History Lord Lieutenants High Sheriffs Museums

v t e

River Thames, England


Gloucestershire Wiltshire Oxfordshire Berkshire Buckinghamshire Greater London Surrey Kent Essex


Thames Head


Thames Estuary


Ashton Keynes Cricklade Castle Eaton Lechlade Oxford Abingdon Wallingford Goring-on-Thames Reading Henley-on-Thames Marlow Maidenhead Windsor Eton Staines-upon-Thames Weybridge London Dartford Gravesend Tilbury Canvey Island Southend-on-Sea

Major tributaries

Churn Leach Cole Coln Windrush Evenlode Cherwell Ock Thame Pang Kennet Loddon Colne Wey Mole Brent Wandle Effra Westbourne Fleet Ravensbourne (Deptford Creek) Lea Darent Ingrebourne

Major crossings

Crossing Blackwall Tunnel Rotherhithe Tunnel Thames Tunnel Tower Bridge London
Bridge Millennium Bridge Blackfriars Bridge

Hungerford Bridge Westminster Bridge Teddington Lock Staines Bridge Windsor Bridge Maidenhead
Railway Bridge Marlow Bridge Folly Bridge (all)

Longest UK rivers

Severn Thames Trent Great Ouse Wye Ure/Ouse Tay Spey Clyde Tweed