Ewelme is an attractive village and a delight
to visit. It lies in a small valley and the name means (place
at) the river-source - the river being the small chalk
stream, the Ewelme Brook.
Ewelme Brook was at one time used extensively for the
cultivation of water cress. However during the last quarter
of the 1900s, regulations prevented the sale of watercress
from Ewelme and this, together with greater competition
from other areas and countries, led to the industry's
demise and production ceased in 1988. The Ewelme
water cress beds are now owned and managed by the Chiltern
Society as a local nature reserve. They run the whole
length of the village and are accessible from the road
the centre of the village is the source of the Ewelme
Brook and an attractive pond. Beside this a small development
of late 20th century houses blends almost perfectly with
the older village properties in the High Street.
the west end of the village on slightly higher ground
is the large and attractive parish church of St. Mary
the Virgin. The tower of St. Mary's is 14th century although
the remainder of the church dates from the 15th century.
Restoration and alteration since then has been comparatively
minor. In the churchyard is the grave of Jerome K. Jerome,
the author of 'Three Men in a Boat', who lived in Ewelme
in the 1880s.
the west door of the church is a covered passage that
leads to the Cloister - a square courtyard surrounded
by thirteen red brick almshouses which were established
in 1437. The almshouses are the oldest brick buildings
in this part of the country. Next to the Cloister is Ewelme
school which was founded originally as a superior grammar
school. Now the school is a state primary school and is
the oldest school building in the country to be in use
as a state primary school. The School is a fine rectangular
red brick building two storeys high. The upper classroom
has magnificent roof beams, probably made from ship's
timbers and has mullioned windows supported by corbels.
two miles to the southeast of Ewelme village between Swyncombe and Nuffield was once a Tudor royal deer park which it is thought was probably
established in the late 14th century.
Some scenes from the popular TV series Midsomer Murders have been filmed in the village of Ewelme.
Ewelme lies just south of the
B4009 Benson to Watlington road about 5 miles east of Benson.