Henley-on-Thames - PHOTOGRAPHER COMMENT
Hand-held virtual tour panorama showing the town centre of Henley-on-Thames, taken in early March 2011 at the end of a local walk.
Henley-on-Thames - FURTHER INFORMATION
Henley-on-Thames - Henley-on-Thames visitor guide showing a virtual tour of 'Henley-on-Thames' linked to an interactive map with local and travel information. 360° panoramas from Oxfordshire.
Henley-on-Thames is a prestigious old market town on the River Thames in Oxfordshire, some 35 miles (55 km) to the west of London. Lying half way between Reading and Maidenhead, it is famous for rowing and river activities. The town dates back to the 12th century when King Henry II brought land here and a weekly farmers market has existed here since the 13th century. In 1204 the first church was built in Henley-on-Thames and the first river bridge is mentioned in 1234.
The history of the town is not all peaceful and relaxing. Disaster struck in at the end of the 14th century when 60% of the town was killed by the Black Death plague. Also, in the 17th century the town suffered at the hands of both the Royalists and the Roundheads (Parliamentarians) during the English Civil War.
Henley-on-Thames and RowingHenley-on-Thames is most famous for rowing, it contains several well known rowing clubs and holds a number of rowing regattas during the year. The most famous of these is the Henley Royal Regatta, which is held on an unusually straight part of the river called the Henley Reach. The Henley Regatta became 'Royal' in 1851 when Prince Albert became the patron.
Though less well known, other regattas that take place at Henley-on-Thames include the Henley Women's Regatta, the Henley Boat Races, Henley Town and Visitors Regatta, Henley Veteran Regatta, Upper Thames Small Boats Head, Henley Fours and Eights Head, and Henley Sculls. Many of these attract international standard competitors. Accompanying the regattas, Henley has a number of rowing clubs including the Henley Rowing Club, world famous Leander Club and Phyllis Court Rowing Club.
Henley-on-Thames - Sights and Tourist AttractionsFor those not interested in rowing, Henley-on-Thames still has much to offer. Some of the local sights include:
- Henley Bridge - a 5-arch stone bridge that was built in 1786 and restored in 2011.
- St. Mary Church - 13th century church that has been amended and added to over the centuries with a 19th century Great West Window and 16th century church tower.
- The Old Bell Pub - located in the m iddle of Henley-on-Thames, this pub building dates back to around 1325 making it one of the oldest buildings in the town.
- Marsh Lock - lock and weir dating back to 1773 though earlier locks also stood here. Restored and reconstructed in 2004 the weir provides access to Mill Meadows.
- Fawley Court - Grade I listed country home on the banks of the Thames that was rebuilt in 1684 for William Freeman and currently managed by English Heritage.
- River and Rowing Museum - Opened by Queen Elizabeth II in November 1998, the museum contains a Wind in the Willows exhibition, Thames Gallery focusing on the river, Schwarzenbach International Rowing Gallery all about rowing and Invesco Perpetual Henley Gallery telling the history of the town.
- Country Walks - there are numerous country walks around the town that take in local villages, woodlands, old churches and other sights.
- The Herb Farm - found near the village of Sonning Common the garden offers many herbal products and a Saxon maze.
- Stonor House - manor house owned by the same family for over 850 years containing a fine collection of Japanese contemporary ceramics.
Henley-On-Thames Tourist Information Centre
Oxfordshire RG9 2AQ
Phone: +44 (0)1491 578034
Web: southernoxfordshire.com - henley
TRAVEL DIRECTIONS AND GETTING THERE
Road: Henley-on-Thames is about 38 miles from central London (M4, A404 and A4130). It is about 10 miles west of Maidenhead (A4120) and 9 miles north of Reading (A4155).
Train: Henley-on-Thames station with links to London.