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Pangbourne village centre
Berkshire UK location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Location within Berkshire
Area6.8 km2 (2.6 sq mi)
Population2,978 (2011 census) [1]
  Density 438/km2 (1,130/sq mi)
OS grid reference SU6376
Civil parish
  • Pangbourne [2]
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Reading
Postcode district RG8
Dialling code 0118
Police Thames Valley
Fire Royal Berkshire
Ambulance South Central
UK Parliament
List of places
51°29′02″N1°05′13″W / 51.4839°N 1.0869°W / 51.4839; -1.0869 Coordinates: 51°29′02″N1°05′13″W / 51.4839°N 1.0869°W / 51.4839; -1.0869

Pangbourne is a large village and civil parish on the River Thames in Berkshire, England. Pangbourne has its own shops, schools, a railway station on the Great Western main line and a village hall. Outside its grouped developed area is an independent school, Pangbourne College.



Pangbourne is situated on the A329 road 6 miles (10 km) west of Reading, the nearest town, and 22 miles (35 km) south east of Oxford. It is across the river from the Oxfordshire village of Whitchurch-on-Thames. The two villages are connected by Whitchurch Bridge and by the traversable weir of Whitchurch Lock. [3] The River Pang flows through the centre of Pangbourne village before joining the Thames between Whitchurch Lock and Whitchurch bridge. [3] Most of the developed area is just above the current flood plain of the River Thames which benefits from hay meadows traditionally used as flood meadows to either side of Pangbourne. Fewer than 15 properties here flooded during the Winter storms of 2013–14 in the United Kingdom.


St James the Less parish church James the Less Pangbourne.JPG
St James the Less parish church
Village name sign by its secular parish hall with homes in background. Village name sign - Pangbourne - - 218346.jpg
Village name sign by its secular parish hall with homes in background.

Pangbourne's name is recorded from 844 as Old English Pegingaburnan (dative case), which means "the stream of the people of [a man called] Pǣga".[ citation needed ] In Norman times, the manor was given to Reading Abbey and the manor house – also called Bere Court – became the abbot's summer residence. The last abbot, Hugh Cook Faringdon, was arrested there in 1539 and subsequently executed in Reading. The manor was later purchased by Sir John Davis, the Elizabethan mathematician and the Earl of Essex's fellow-conspirator. His monument is in the Church of England parish church of Saint James the Less.

The Pangbourne war memorial is found in the grounds of the church. [4] It was designed by the artist Vera Waddington. [5] Other monuments and hatchments in the church are mostly to the Breedon family. John Breedon, Senior, bought the manor in 1671. He was High Sheriff of Berkshire and brother of the Governor of Nova Scotia, whose son later succeeded John at the manor. The family produced a number of sheriffs and MPs for Berkshire, as well as doctors and rectors of the parish.[ citation needed ]

Kenneth Grahame, author of The Wind in the Willows , retired to Church Cottage in Pangbourne.He died there in 1932. E. H. Shepherd's famous illustrations of his book are said to have been inspired by the Thameside landscape there and the water voles of the river are thought to have inspired the character of Ratty. [6] The Falkland Islands memorial chapel at Pangbourne College was opened by Queen Elizabeth II in March 2000. It was built to commemorate the lives and sacrifice of all who died during the Falklands War of 1982, and the courage of those who served with them to preserve the sovereignty of the islands. [7] The Queen revisited the Memorial Chapel in 2007 to mark the 25th anniversary of the Falklands war.[ citation needed ]


Pangbourne is a civil parish with an elected parish council. The parish covers the immediate agricultural green buffer and a part wooded, part cultivated south-western area. The rural area contains no other significant settlements and includes Pangbourne College. [8] The parish shares boundaries with the Berkshire parishes of Purley-on-Thames, Tidmarsh, Sulham, Bradfield and Basildon. Along the River Thames, to the north, there is also a boundary with the Oxfordshire parish of Whitchurch-on-Thames. [8] The parish is in the area of the unitary authority of West Berkshire. The parish council and the unitary authority are responsible for different aspects of local government. Pangbourne forms part of the Reading West parliamentary constituency. The parish is twinned with Houdan in France. [9]


Pangbourne railway station is a minor stop on the Great Western Main Line and has stopping services to Oxford via Didcot Parkway, and to London Paddington via Reading.

Pangbourne and District Silver Band

The Pangbourne and District Silver Band July 2010 PangbourneAndDistrictSilverBandAtBlenheimPalace25July2010.jpg
The Pangbourne and District Silver Band July 2010

The history of the Pangbourne Band began in 1893 when a fife and drum band used to rehearse in a shed behind the water mill, but when the First World War broke out the band broke up, re-forming in 1919 after the Armistice. Regular concerts were held from then until the outbreak of the Second World War, when many of the bandsmen served in the Armed Forces and the band again broke up and the instruments were held in storage. In 1962, Henry Fuller, a local tutor, started the village brass group. Local musicians became involved when the old instruments were recovered from storage, and the band was established as a full-size contesting brass band within a few years. [10] In 2009, Pangbourne All-Comers' Band was begun, incorporating brass and, for parade days, drums and bell lyre glockenspiel.

Demography and land use

2011 Published Statistics: Population, home ownership and extracts from Physical Environment, surveyed in 2005 [1]
Output areaHomes owned outrightOwned with a loanSocially rentedPrivately rentedOtherkm2 roadskm2 waterkm2 domestic gardensUsual residentskm2
Civil parish478418101187410.2370.0120.65429786.8

Related Research Articles

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West Berkshire Local government district in England

West Berkshire is a local government district in Berkshire, England, administered from Newbury by West Berkshire Council.

Tilehurst Human settlement in England

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Purley on Thames Human settlement in England

Purley on Thames is a village and civil parish in Berkshire, England. Purley is centred 3 miles (4.8 km) north-west of Reading, 1 mile (1.6 km) east of Pangbourne, and 22 miles (35 km) south-east of Oxford. Consequently, Reading is the principal social, economic and cultural centre for the people of Purley. Historically, Purley comprised three separate manors and associated settlements. In the centre there is an historic area named variously Lething or Burley (Domesday) which accommodated traders and craftsmen alongside the main Reading to Oxford road.

Mapledurham Lock Lock and weir on the River Thames in Berkshire, England

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Whitchurch Lock Lock and weir on the River Thames in Oxfordshire, England

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Whitchurch-on-Thames Oxfordshire village on The Thames

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Basildon, Berkshire Human settlement in England

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Burghfield Village and civil parish in England

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Sonning Eye Human settlement in England

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Mapledurham Human settlement in England

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Checkendon Human settlement in England

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Shinfield Human settlement in England

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Moulsford Human settlement in England

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Woodcote Human settlement in England

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  1. 1 2 Key Statistics: Dwellings; Quick Statistics: Population Density; Physical Environment: Land Use Survey 2005
  2. "Pangbourne Parish Council Website". Pangbourne Parish Council. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  3. 1 2 Ordnance Survey (2006). OS Explorer Map 159 – Reading. ISBN   0-319-23730-3.
  4. "Pangbourne". Retrieved 29 September 2018.
  5. "Pangbourne War Memorial". Vera Waddington. 9 April 2016. Retrieved 29 September 2018.
  6. Simpson, Aislinn (27 August 2007). "Waterways that inspired literary gems at risk". The Daily Telegraph . p. 11.
  7. "The Falklands Island Memorial Chapel". The Trustees of the Falkland Island Memorial Chapel Trust. Archived from the original on 9 August 2008. Retrieved 25 April 2009.
  8. 1 2 "Election Maps". Ordnance Survey. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 27 February 2008.
  9. "British towns twinned with French towns". Archant Community Media Ltd. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
  10. History – Pangbourne Band Website Retrieved on 17 July 2013.