is an attractive Thames-side village opposite the Berkshire village of Pangbourne on the opposite
side of the river, and linked to it
by Whitchurch Bridge.
Approaching Whitchurch-on-Thames by road from the north
the road drops down from the Chiltern Hills 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.
The original chuch is thought to have been established
by St Birinus and was probably a small whitewashed building
of wattle and daub. The present Church of St Mary was
substantially rebuilt in 1857, although Saxon, Norman,
Gothic, Georgian and Victorian architecture is still evident.
To quote from the limited edition book St Mary’s Church,
Whitchurch-on-Thames – A Journey through Time by Richard
Hughes, Rector of Whitchurch, 1979 – 2000, "The whole
has mellowed with the centuries nevertheless, so that
the casual visitor will find a typical country church
in which nothing, it seems, is too out of place."
Whitchurch Bridge is one of the few remaining private
toll bridges across the River Thames. There has been a
bridge on the site since 1792, and the current bridge
is the third on the site and dates from 1902. It is owned
and maintained by The Company of Proprietors of Whitchurch
Bridge entirely from toll receipts. The Company of Proprietors
of Whitchurch Bridge is a private Company established
by the Whitchurch Bridge Acts of 1792 and 1988, empowered
to collect tolls at any time of the day or night to finance
its operations. The company plans to rebuild the bridge
in 2013. Before this bridge was built the crossing to
Pangbourne was by ferry, and this was one of the earliest
crossing places into Berkshire.
Whitchurch Lock is one of the few locks on the River Thames
which has no public access other than by boat. The weir
crosses the river to Pangbourne.
is on the B471 half a mile north of Pangbourne, on the River Thames about half way between Goring and Reading.