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Henley-on-Thames is a town on the north side of the River Thames in south Oxfordshire, England, about 10 miles downstream and north-east from Readingmarker, 10 miles upstream and west from Maidenheadmarker. It is located near the corner between the counties of Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire.


Henley does not appear in Domesday Book of 1086 often it is mistaken for Henlei in the book which is in Surrey.The first record of medieval settlement dates to 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 an manor of Henley to Robert Harcourt in 1199. A church is first mentioned at Henley in 1204. In 1205 the town received a paviage grant, and in 1234 the bridge is first mentioned. In 1278 Henley is described as a hamlet of Benson with a Chapel. It is probable that the street plan was established by the end of the 13th century.

As a demesne of the crown it was granted to John de Molyns, in 1337 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 that swept through England in the 14th century, Henley lost 60% of its population.

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, having granted the use of the titles "mayor" and "burgess", the town was incorporated in 1568 by the name of the warden, portreeves, burgesses and commonalty.

Henley suffered from both parties in the Civil War. William III on his march to London in 1688 rested here, at the nearby recently rebuilt Fawley Courtmarker and received a deputation from the Lords. The period of prosperity in the 17th and 18th centuries was due to manufactures of glass and malt, and to trade in corn and wool.

Henley-on-Thames owes much to its location and port that supplied London with timber and grain.


Henley Bridgemarker is a five arched bridge across the river which was built in 1786. The church of St. Mary is located nearby and features a tower built in the 16th century. About a mile upstream of the bridge is Marsh Lockmarker.

In the vicinity of Henley, there are several notable private buildings:

Present day

The town has its own railway stationmarker, with direct service into London Paddingtonmarker during peak hours. Off-peak service requires a change of train at Twyfordmarker. In addition, there are also express mainline rail services from nearby Readingmarker to Paddington and High Wycombemarker which accesses London Marylebonemarker. A short drive along the M4 motorway leads directly into London or along the M40 motorway to Hillingdonmarker for the London Underground. The local bus service around the town is operated by Whites Coaches 151, 152, 153 and 154 routes.

The River and Rowing Museummarker, located in Mill Meadowsmarker, 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.

Rowing regatta

Boathouses on the north bank of the river near the finish of the Royal Regatta.

Henley is a world renowned centre for rowing, each summer holding the Henley Royal Regatta, one of the highlights of the social calendar of the English middle and upper classes. The regatta is held on a stretch of the river that is naturally straight. The event became Royal in 1851. In that year Prince Albertmarker became the patron of the regatta.

Other regattas and rowing races are held on the same reach, including: Henley Women's Regatta and the Henley Boat Races for women's and lightweight teams between Oxfordmarker and Cambridge Universitymarker, Henley Veteran Regatta, Upper Thames Small Boats Head, Henley Sculling Head, and Henley Small Boats Head. These heads often attract strong crews that have won medals at National Championships.

Local rowing clubs include:

Notable people


Henley-on-Thames is twinned with

See also


Henley's Local newspaper is the Henley Standard

Henley's Local radio stations are: Heart Berkshire, BBC Radio Berkshire and Reading 107 locally broadcast from Reading.

Time 106.6 is broadcast from Slough

The rest are London stations which can also be received. This is the local bandscan below.

BBC Radio 1 (98.5, 98.8), BBC Radio 2 (88.8, 89.1), BBC Radio 3 (91.0, 91.3), BBC Radio 4 (93.2, 93.5), Classic fm (100.6, 100.9), BBC Radio Berkshire (94.6,95.4,104.1,104.4), BBC London 94.9 (94.9), LBC 97.3 (97.3), Capital FM (95.8), Kiss 100 (100.0), Magic 105.4 FM (105.4), Smooth Radio London (102.2), Absolute Radio (105.8), Xfm London (104.9), Heart London (106.2), Heart Berkshire (97.0, 102.9, 103.4), Time 106.6 (106.6), Reading 107 (107.0), Regatta Radio (87.7) (during HRR).

Local television news programmes are the BBC's South Today and ITV's Meridian Tonight.


External links

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