Henley on Thames pub history index
Directory of Pubs in the UK, historical public houses, Taverns, Inns, Beer Houses and Hotels in Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire. The Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire listing uses information from census, Trade Directories and History to add licensees, bar staff, Lodgers and Visitors.
The following entries are in this format:
Year/Publican or other Resident/Relationship to Head and or Occupation/Age/Where Born/Source.
HENLEY-ON-THAMES is a parish, market town, and borough corporate, in the
hundred of Binfield, union of Henley, 23 miles E. of Oxford, 8 N.E. of
Reading, 7 W. of Great Marlow, 16 N W of Windsor, and 35 W. of London. It is
situate on the western bank of the river Thames, which here divides the
county from Berkshire, at the foot of the Chiltern hills, and is approached
by a branch of the Great Western Railway, 5 miles in length, running from
the main line at Twyford. This town and Dorchester are probably the two most
ancient in the county. The derivation of the name, according to Lombard and
Dr. Plott, is from the Saxon Hene-lega, being a compound word signifying the
" old place." The neighbourhood bears traces of Roman occupation, urns and
other relics of that people having at various times been discovered.
Henley is one of the most picturesque and interesting towns of the county. The town generally has a respectable appearance, and consists principally of two wide and handsome streets. The approaches from most points are good, especially the one from Oxford, from whence you enter the town along a straight road upwards of 150 feet in breadth, on each side of which are stately rows of fine grown Elm trees; this road is called the "Fair Mile." The streets are paved and lighted, and the houses are for the most part spacious and well built. The old wooden bridge which formerly spanned the Thames here was replaced in 1786, at a cost of £10,000, by a noble five-arched stone bridge, uniting the town of Henley to Remenham, a parish in Berkshire. The key stones of the centre arch were finely sculptured, with the heads of Thame and Isis, by the tasteful chisel of the Hon. Mrs. Darner. The Town Hall, erected in 1796, is an ornamental building, with Doric columns and piazza, situate in the Market Place, under the upper storey of which the market is held. A very large business is transacted in corn, flour, malt, timber, and agricultural produce generally. The town is celebrated for the quality of its ale, and there are several large breweries, that of the present mayor, Mr. William Henry Brakspear, being one of the most important. The corporation consists of a mayor, ten aldermen, sixteen burgesses, a high steward and a recorder. Petty sessions for the borough are held every Monday, and for the Henley division of the county every alternate Thursday. The market day is Thursday. Fairs are held on March 7th, Holy Thursday, Thursday after Trinity Sunday, and Thursday after 21st September, the latter is a pleasure and statute fair,
The Church is a noble edifice, dedicated to St. Mary, in the decorated English style of architecture; it has a lofty embattled tower with turrets, said to have been erected by Cardinal Wolsey. In a vault in the chancel lie the remains of the French General Dumurior, who died in exile at Turville Park. In the north aisle is a beautiful monument to the memory of Lady Elizabeth Periam, a great benefactress to Balliol College, Oxford, and founder of the Free Grammer School, at Henley. She was the sister of Lord Chancellor Bacon, and first the wife of Robert D'Oyley, next of Henry Neville, and lastly of William Periam; she died in 1621. There is a monument over the south door to "William Hayward, architect, of Shrewsbury, who furnished the design for the bridge over the Thames, but died before its commencement in 1782. In the churchyard are interred the remains of Richard Jennings, the master builder, under the great architect Sir Christopher Wren, of St. Paul's Cathedral, London. There is a valuable library bequeathed by Dr. Henry Aldrich, Dean of Christ Church, and Rector of Henley, kept in the vestry; he died in 1737. The living is a rectory, value £150 per annum, in the gift of the Bishop of Rochester; the Rev. T. B. Morrell is rector, and the Revs. H. Benson and W. Chapman are curates. The church underwent restoration in 1854; the work was carried out by B. Ferrey, Esq., architect, of London, and Mr. Robert Owthwaite, builder and contractor, of this town, to whom also was entrusted the erection of Holy Trinity Church, in the parish of Rotherfield Greys. The Wesleyans, Congregationalists, and Society of Friends, have chapels here. The National Schools are held in a very fine edifice, erected at a cost of near £4,000, at Gravel Hill. The building comprises throe fine schools, ample accommodation for the teachers, and extensive out-premises. The Green School, founded by John Stephens, Esq., 1717, for educating and clothing four boys and four girls, with an annual donation of thirty shillings each, was incorporated with the National Schools in 1849, at which time the present building was erected. The institution is now called the National and Industrial Schools, and is attended by upwards of 300 scholars. There is a school, founded by Lady Elizabeth Periam, for writing, reading, and arithmetic, likewise clothing and apprenticing twenty boys belonging to the town. This is now called the Grammar and Free School. On each side of the church are almshouses, erected at the expense of the following charitable individuals:—ten houses by Mr. Humphrey Newberry, erected 1664, rebuilt 1846; four by Mrs. Ann Messenger, 1669, rebuilt 1846; twelve by John Longland, Bishop of Lincoln and Confessor to Henry VIII, who was a native of this town. William Lenthall, the speaker of the Long Parliament, was born here in 1591. Henley is a favourite resort of the lovers of Angling; the river abounds with fish, and there is a society for the protection of the fishery. The scenery in the neighbourhood is extremely beautiful, being diversified by lofty wooded hills and declivities running down to the banks of the Thames. The Chiltern Hills extend from this place on the west and run to Tring. On the east, Henley hill appears, through the chalky substance of which the road is cut; at its base are villas and other residences, interspersed with charming woodland views. Park Place in Berkshire, the seat of Mrs. Fuller Maikland, is on the south; the mansion is seated on an eminence 300 feet above the level of the Thames, and sheltered by extensive plantations. The grounds comprise an area of 400 acres, which present all the varieties of English landscape: the river Thames may be viewed from many points to great advantage, and adds considerably to the beauty of the scene. On a hill is a circular arrangement of stones brought from the Island of Jersey, and said to be an Ancient Druids' temple. Fawley Court in Buckinghamshire is about a mile north of Henley; it was erected in 1684, from designs by Sir C. Wren, and is the property and seat of Edward Mackenzie, Esq., who is lord of the manor of Henley. The mansion stands on an extensive lawn terminated with Beech-clad hills, and commands splendid views of the neighbouring country. In the vicinity are Culham Court, Greys Court, Hambledon House, and Crowsley Park. Pyrites and black flint, materials used in the manufacture of glass, are found here. An annual regatta was established in 1839, and may be considered one of the first festivals of the kind held in England; it is visited by all the elite of the aquatic world of Oxford, Cambridge, and London, and during its continuance the town is the centre of a very fashionable gathering. This attraction, combined with the beauties of the scenery, and the facilities for angling, render Henley-on-Thames, during the summer season, a lively and agreeable place of residence. The population in 1861 was 3676.