Crowmarsh Gifford

Crowmarsh GiffordCrowmarsh Gifford is on the eastern bank of the River Thames opposite the historic town of Wallingford, the two being connected by Wallingford Bridge. Since 1987 the village has been bypassed by the busy A4074 Reading to Oxford road and now the Wallingford bypass also bypasses the village, so there is now less through traffic.

Find Crowmarsh Gifford on the Ordnance Survey map


GoringIt is probable that everyone who has heard of Goring associates it with the attractive gap between the Berkshire Downs and the Chilterns known as the Goring Gap. Here the Oxfordshire village of Goring and the Berkshire village of Streatley stand on opposite sides of the River Thames, linked by a fine bridge which was built in 1923. The beautiful riverside setting and the attractive views of the hills on either side make Goring an extremely attractive village.

The river was first forded by the Romans who built a causeway. The first bridge over the river, a toll bridge, was built upstream of the ferry in 1837. This lasted until the present bridge was built in 1923 and from it you can look down on Goring lock and the weir. The present lock was built in 1921 and was then unusual in that it had an extra pair of lock gates, creating two chambers.This enabled boats to travel faster through the lock and use less water each time the lock was used.

Find Goring on the Ordnance Survey map


MapledurhamMapledurham is a small estate village on the north side of the Thames a few miles west of Caversham. Facing Mapledurham on the opposite bank of the river is the Berkshire village of Purley-on-Thames which is effectively a suburb of Reading.

Visitors to Mapledurham are attracted mainly by Mapledurham House and Water Mill. Mapledurham House is a Grade I Country House c.1585 with C19 alterations and extensions. Most of the village is a conservation area and there are 33 listed buildings in and around the small village, including farmhouses, barns, stables, houses, cottages, statues, etc.

Find Mapledurham on the Ordnance Survey map

North Stoke

North StokeNorth Stoke is a delightful small Thames-side village lying just off the Goring to Crowmarsh road. The village itself is on a sleepy backwater, but most people will perhaps know the village as the home of The Springs Hotel and Golf Club which is on the "main road".

The parish church is the Church of St. Mary, which is almost entirely medieval, and still has wall paintings, ancient oak pews and a brick floor.

Find North Stoke on the Ordnance Survey map


ShiplakeShiplake is south of Henley-on-Thames on the A4155 road which leads to Caversham and Reading. Both the old village of Shiplake and the newer settlement of Lower Shiplake spread away from the road towards the River Thames.

The village originated near where the C12 Church of St Peter and St Paul can still be found. This is where the manor house (now known as Shiplake Court) was situated on a beautiful site overlooking the river. The Manor house was rebuilt in 1894 and is now a boys public school. However on the building of the railway in 1858 and the station, about a mile away from what had been the centre, a new settlement grew around the ancient settlement of Lashbrook which is mentioned in Domesday Book, along with its mill. The mill was where Shiplake lock is now and existed until 1908.

Find Shiplake on the Ordnance Survey map

South Stoke

South StokeSouth Stoke is another delightful village, sandwiched between the River Thames and the main railway line from Paddington to Oxford and the south-west. Access to the village from the Goring to Crowmarsh road is by way of one of three arched bridges, whilst a fourth way through the railway embankment, known locally as the Bogey Hole, enables a footpath to the hamlet of Little Stoke.

Unlike the railway, which is very evident, you may not realise the river was there unless you looked at a map or wandered down the track to the old ferry crossing to Moulsford! Perhaps though the Perch and Pike pub gives the closeness of the river away, both by its name and its display of record catches of fish from the river!

Find South Stoke on the Ordnance Survey map


Whitchurch-on-ThamesWhitchurch-on-Thames is an attractive Thames-side village about half way between Goring and Reading. On the opposite side of the river, and linked to Whitchurch-on-Thames by Whitchurch Bridge is the Berkshire village of Pangbourne. Approaching Whitchurch-on-Thames by road from the north the road drops down from the Chilterns into the villlage, much of which is squeezed into a flat plain about half a mile wide. Before you realise it you have reached a toll bridge across the river to Pangbourne.

The village has several attractive flint cottages, Edwardian villas and Georgian town houses. There is also a mill which has now been converted and is no longer in use.

Find Whitchurch-on-Thames on the Ordnance Survey map