A History of the County of Oxford

July 2011
17 colour, 59 black and white, 20 line illustrations
398 pages
30.5x20.8 cm
Victoria County History
ISBN: 9781904356387
Format: Hardback
Victoria County History
BISAC HIS037030, HIS015000

A History of the County of Oxford

XVI: Henley-on-Thames and Environs: Binfield Hundred, Part 1

Edited by Simon Townley

Authoritative account of the history of Henley-on-Thames and its neighbouring parishes.
Focused on the south-west Chilterns, this volume looks at the riverside market town of Henley-on-Thames, now famous for its annual Royal Regatta, and at the four neighbouring parishes of Bix, Harpsden, Rotherfield Greys and Rotherfield Peppard.
Henley began as a planned town, probably in the late twelfth century, and became a major inland port, funnelling grain, wood and (later) malt into London. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries it developed as a coaching centre, and from the nineteenth flourished as a fashionable resort and commuting area, following the belated arrival of the railway and the self-conscious promotion of the Regatta. The adjoining parishes stretch from the river to the Chilterns uplands, comprising a mixed landscape of wood pasture, small hedged closes, and (in the Middle Ages) small open fields. Settlement is characteristically dispersed, and as elsewhere in the Chilterns the balance between crops, grazing and wood exploitation varied over time. The area contains deserted or shrunken settlements, including Bolney and the newly-discovered site of Bix Gibwyn church; its important buildings include Greys Court, established probably in the eleventh century, while Henley itself contains a richness of eighteenth-century brick-built houses alongside medieval timber-framing, several examples of which have recently been dated by dendrochronology.

Table of Contents

Henley and the Chilterns
Henley Parish and Borough
Rural Parishes


[A]n authoritative, readable and well-presented volume. This work will be of great interest and value to researchers of many different shades, and landscape historians will certainly be among them. LANDSCAPE HISTORY

[T]he VCH Henley volume is a tour de force of scholarship and 'total history' - bringing archaeology, buildings and documents together to give as full as possible a picture of the parishes under investigation. I can thoroughly recommend it. THE OXON RECORDER

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