The Victoria History of the County of Oxford: Henley-on-Thames and environs

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Simon Townley
University of London, Institute of Historical Research, 2011 - History - 375 pages
Focused on the south-west Chilterns, this volume looks at the riverside market town of Henley-on-Thames, now famous for its annual Royal Regatta, and at the four neighbouring parishes of Bix, Harpsden, Rotherfield Greys and Rotherfield Peppard. Henley began as a planned town, probably in the late twelfth century, and became a major inland port, funnelling grain, wood and (later) malt into London. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries it developed as a coaching centre, and from the nineteenth flourished as a fashionable resort and commuting area, following the belated arrival of the railway and the self-conscious promotion of the Regatta. The adjoining parishes stretch from the river to the Chilterns uplands, comprising a mixed landscape of wood pasture, small hedged closes, and (in the Middle Ages) small open fields. Settlement is characteristically dispersed, and as elsewhere in the Chilterns the balance between crops, grazing and wood exploitation varied over time. The area contains deserted or shrunken settlements, including Bolney and the newly-discovered site of Bix Gibwyn church; its important buildings include Greys Court, established probably in the eleventh century, while Henley itself contains a richness of eighteenth-century brick-built houses alongside medieval timber-framing, several examples of which have recently been dated by dendrochronology.

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Contents

HENLEY AND THE CHILTERNS
1
HENLEY PARISH AND BOROUGH
19
RURAL PARISHES
196
Copyright

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