Streatley, Berkshire

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Streatley
Streatley - geograph.org.uk - 762475.jpg
Streatley nucleus and riverside beyond.
Berkshire UK location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Streatley
Location within Berkshire
Area13.14 km2 (5.07 sq mi)
Population1,060 (2011 census) [1]
  Density 81/km2 (210/sq mi)
OS grid reference SU5980
Civil parish
  • Streatley
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Region
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Reading
Postcode district RG8
Dialling code 01491
Police Thames Valley
Fire Royal Berkshire
Ambulance South Central
UK Parliament
Website Streatley Parish Council
List of places
UK
England
Berkshire
51°31′23″N1°09′00″W / 51.523°N 1.15°W / 51.523; -1.15 Coordinates: 51°31′23″N1°09′00″W / 51.523°N 1.15°W / 51.523; -1.15

Streatley is a village and civil parish on the River Thames in Berkshire, England. The village faces Goring-on-Thames. The two places share in their shops, services, leisure, sports and much of their transport; across the river is Goring & Streatley railway station and the village cluster adjoins a lock and weir. The west of the village is a mixture of agriculture and woodland plus a golf course. The village has a riverside hotel. Much of Streatley is at steeply varying elevations, ranging from 51m AOD to 185m at Streatley Warren, a hilltop point on its western border forming the eastern end of the Berkshire Downs. This Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is topped by the 87-mile The Ridgeway path, which crosses the Thames at Goring and Streatley Bridge.

Contents

Location

Streatley is centred 9 miles (14 km) north-west of Reading and 17 miles (27 km) south of Oxford. Its developed area occupies half of the narrow Goring Gap on the River Thames and is directly across the river from the Oxfordshire village of Goring-on-Thames. The two villages are connected by Goring and Streatley Bridge, with its adjacent lock and weir, and are often considered as a single settlement: Goring & Streatley railway station on the Great Western Main Line is in Goring and serves both villages. [A] [B]

The village is mostly surrounded by National Trust land: Lardon Chase, the Holies and Lough Down. Nearby villages include Aldworth, Goring-on-Thames, Lower Basildon, Moulsford and Pangbourne

The Ridgeway long-distance path passes through the village, which is the finishing line for the annual "Ridgeway 40" walk and trail run. [2] The Thames Path, Icknield Way and the Ridgeway cross the Thames at Streatley.

History

Being in such a vital crossing point on the Thames, a settlement at Streatley has existed for a long time; it was mentioned in the Domesday book. Neolithic tools have been found at the base of Lough Down and Bronze Age artefacts in the village. A Roman milestone is still present at the Bull crossroads. [3] Long before the bridge was built a ferry used to operate between the two villages. Sixty people were drowned at Streatley in 1674 when a ferry capsized in the flash lock. [4] The iron wheel pump, on the forecourt of The Bull, was the only reliable water source in the great freeze of 1895, and water was sold from this point for sixpence a bucket.

The whole of Streatley used to be owned by the Morrell family of brewers from Oxford, whose resistance to change enabled the village to withstand the railway line and extra houses that went to Goring.[ citation needed ] The watermill was originally owned by the nuns of Goring. In later years it was used to drive a generator to provide electricity for the estate. However, it burned down in 1926 and was not rebuilt. [5] On the death of Emily Morrell, in 1938, the estate was sold, and the manor house and some other houses in the village became part of the Royal Veterinary College, which had moved out of London during the Blitz. The college left in 1958. [6]

A bomb exploded in a postman's bag on a bicycle in the village in 1979. It was targeted at a retired judge in the village, but went off early, when the postman's bicycle fell over. [7] [8] The incident appeared to be the work of the IRA.

Government

Streatley is a civil parish with an elected parish council. Besides the riverside village of Streatley, the parish covers an area of the Berkshire Downs to the west, and includes the small cluster of dwellings named Stichens Green. [9]

The parish is bordered to the north and east by the Oxfordshire parishes of Moulsford, South Stoke and Goring. To the west and south, it is bordered by the Berkshire parishes of Basildon, Ashampstead and Aldworth. [9]

The parish falls within the area of the unitary authority of West Berkshire. Both the parish council and the unitary authority have responsibilities for various aspects of local government. The parish also forms part of the Newbury parliamentary constituency. [9]

Amenities

Public house

Streatley has only one public house, The Bull at Streatley in the High Street. Its garden is the unusual burial site for a monk and a nun executed in 1440 for "misconduct" and contains an ancient yew tree. [10]

Near the Bull is a youth hostel.

Hotel

The Swan hotel The Swan, Streatley - geograph.org.uk - 944892.jpg
The Swan hotel

There is a four-star hotel and restaurant in the village – the Swan at Streatley. During the 1970s, it was owned by the drag artist Danny La Rue. The hotel was subsequently purchased by Diplomat Hotels of Sweden, before being sold in 2001 to Nike Group Hotels, part of the Bracknell-based Nike Group of Companies, whose Chairman is John Nike. Since 2012, the hotel has been owned by Rare Bird Hotels, backed by Punch Taverns and Pizza Express entrepreneur Hugh Osmond. During the summer small electric boats can be rented from here to explore the Thames.

Leisure facilities

Part of Golf Club course and agricultural and wooded hills with footpaths in background. Streatley Golf Course - geograph.org.uk - 21198.jpg
Part of Golf Club course and agricultural and wooded hills with footpaths in background.

Goring and Streatley Golf Club is in the village, founded in 1895. It has a 6,355-yard, par 72 golf course, designed in part by Harry Colt, and has views of the Thames and Ridgeway.

Streatley Hill is a destination for cycling hill climbs – the annual Didcot Phoenix Cycle Club and Reading Cycle Club Hill Climb competitions take place every September. The hill featured in the Tour of Britain in 2008 as a designated King of the Mountains climb.

Church

St. Mary's parish church Streatley01.JPG
St. Mary's parish church

The Church of England parish church of Saint Mary in Streatley used to be part of the Reading Episcopal Area of the Diocese of Oxford, but has now moved to the Dorchester Episcopal Area, crossing the old Wessex-Mercia boundary for the first time in 1400 years. In the churchyard is the grave of a Saxon warrior, whose body was discovered under the old bowling green in 1932 and reburied in the cemetery. [11] The village has a Church of England primary school with a feeder pre-school attached to it. The church is a Grade II listed building. [12]

Events

The annual Goring and Streatley Regatta is held each July on the Streatley side of the river. In the 19th century, it was a serious regatta to rival Henley or Marlow, but now it is a local regatta for amateur teams of inhabitants of the two villages.

A torchlight procession of villagers and visitors merges with another stream from Goring each Christmas Eve, in a night-time spectacle that continues onto Streatley Recreation Ground for a carol service.

In literature

The village is the subject of the poem "A Streatley Sonata" by Joseph Ashby-Sterry [13] composed in the late 19th century:

And when you're here, I’m told that you

Should mount the hill and see the view;
And gaze and wonder, if you'd do
Its merits most completely;

The air is clear, the day is fine,
The prospect is, I know, divine –
But most distinctly I decline
To climb the hill at Streatley

But from the Hill, I understand
You gaze across rich pasture-land;
And fancy you see Oxford and
P'r'aps Wallingford and Wheatley:

Upon the winding Thames you gaze,
And, though the view’s beyond all praise,
I'd rather much sit here and laze

Than scale the Hill at Streatley!

The village is mentioned in Jerome K Jerome's Three Men in a Boat :

We had intended to push on to Wallingford that day, but the sweet smiling face of the river here lured us to linger for a while; and so we left our boat at the bridge, and went up into Streatley, and lunched at the Bull, much to Montmorency's satisfaction....
It is an ancient place, Streatley, dating back, like most river-side towns and villages, to British and Saxon times. Goring is not nearly so pretty a little spot to stop at as Streatley, if you have your choice; but it is passing fair enough in its way, and is nearer the railway in case you want to slip off without paying your hotel bill.

Nearest places

See also

Related Research Articles

The Ridgeway Ancient trackway described as Britains oldest road

The Ridgeway is a ridgeway or ancient trackway described as Britain's oldest road. The section clearly identified as an ancient trackway extends from Wiltshire along the chalk ridge of the Berkshire Downs to the River Thames at the Goring Gap, part of the Icknield Way which ran, not always on the ridge, from Salisbury Plain to East Anglia. The route was adapted and extended as a National Trail, created in 1972. The Ridgeway National Trail follows the ancient Ridgeway from Overton Hill, near Avebury, to Streatley, then follows footpaths and parts of the ancient Icknield Way through the Chiltern Hills to Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire. The National Trail is 87 miles (140 km) long.

Oxfordshire County of England

Oxfordshire is a landlocked county in South East England. The ceremonial county borders Warwickshire to the north-west, Northamptonshire to the north-east, Buckinghamshire to the east, Berkshire to the south, Wiltshire to the south-west and Gloucestershire to the west.

Goring Gap

The Goring Gap is the narrow valley, occupied by the River Thames, between the Chiltern Hills and the Berkshire Downs. It is approximately 10 miles (16 km) upstream of Reading and 27 miles (43 km) downstream of Oxford. The river here forms the county boundary between Berkshire and Oxfordshire.

Goring-on-Thames Village in England

Goring-on-Thames is a village and civil parish on the River Thames in South Oxfordshire, England, about 5.5 miles (8.9 km) south of Wallingford and 8 miles (13 km) north-west of Reading. Goring & Streatley railway station is on the main line between Oxford and London. Most land is farmland, with woodland on the Goring Gap outcrop of the Chiltern Hills. Its riverside plain encloses the residential area, including a high street with a few shops, pubs and restaurants. Nearby are the village churches – one dedicated to St Thomas Becket has a nave built within 50 years of the saint's death, in the early 13th century, and a later bell tower. Goring faces the smaller Streatley across the Thames. The two are linked by Goring and Streatley Bridge.

Berkshire Downs

The Berkshire Downs are a range of chalk downland hills in southern England, part of the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Berkshire Downs are wholly within the traditional county of Berkshire, although split between the current ceremonial counties of Berkshire and Oxfordshire. The western parts of the downs are also known as the Lambourn Downs.

Aldworth Village and civil parish in Berkshire, England

Aldworth is a mainly farmland village and civil parish in the English county of Berkshire, near the boundary with Oxfordshire, in a rural area between Reading, Newbury and Streatley. It includes the hamlet of Westridge Green. It lies on the high ground of the Berkshire Downs, just off the B4009 road between Newbury and Streatley. The north of it is crossed by The Ridgeway, an 87-mile pre-Roman footpath. The parish church has large medieval figures in white stone, seemingly life-size, though some knights have an unlikely height of over seven feet. The Battle of Ashdown, where King Alfred defeated the Danes in January AD 871, is said by some to have been fought near The Ridgeway and Lowbury Hill.

North Wessex Downs

The North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is located in the English counties of Berkshire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire and Wiltshire. The name North Wessex Downs is not a traditional one, the area covered being better known by various overlapping local names, including the Berkshire Downs, the North Hampshire Downs, the White Horse Hills, the Lambourn Downs, the Marlborough Downs, the Vale of Pewsey and Savernake Forest.

Whitchurch Lock

Whitchurch Lock is a lock and weir situated on the River Thames in England. It is a pound lock, built by the Thames Navigation Commissioners in 1787. It is on an island near the Oxfordshire village of Whitchurch-on-Thames and is inaccessible except by boat.

Goring Lock

Goring Lock is a lock and weir situated on the River Thames in England at the Goring Gap in the Chiltern Hills. The lock is located on the Oxfordshire bank at Goring-On-Thames, with Streatley, Berkshire on the opposite side of the river. It is just upstream of Goring and Streatley Bridge. The lock was first built in 1787 by the Thames Navigation Commissioners

Goring and Streatley Bridge

Goring and Streatley Bridge is a road bridge across the River Thames in England. The bridge links the twin villages of Goring-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, and Streatley, Berkshire, and is adjacent to Goring Lock.

Goring & Streatley railway station

Goring & Streatley railway station is on the Great Western Main Line serving the twin villages of Goring-on-Thames, Oxfordshire and Streatley, Berkshire in England. The station is in Goring-on-Thames, adjacent to the village centre and some five minutes walk from Goring and Streatley Bridge, which connects the village with Streatley, across the River Thames. It is 44 miles 60 chains (72.0 km) down the line from London Paddington and is situated between Pangbourne to the east and Cholsey to the west. It is served by local services operated by Great Western Railway (GWR).

Lardon Chase, the Holies and Lough Down

Lardon Chase, the Holies and Lough Down are three adjacent National Trust countryside properties in the English county of Berkshire. They are situated on the edge of the Berkshire Downs above the village of Streatley and overlooking the Goring Gap. Together they comprise an outstanding area of 27 hectares of downland and woodland with many attractive walks and views. Lardon Chase, and a part of the Holies known as Holies Down, are also designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest. The properties lie within the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and in an area known for the presence of several Neolithic and Iron Age forts.

South Stoke, Oxfordshire Human settlement in England

South Stoke is a village and civil parish on an east bank of the Thames, about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) north of Goring-on-Thames in South Oxfordshire. It includes less than 1 mile (1.6 km) to its north the hamlet and manor house of Littlestoke.

Mapledurham Human settlement in England

Mapledurham is a small village, civil parish and country estate beside the River Thames in southern Oxfordshire. The large parish borders Caversham the most affluent major district of Reading, Berkshire. All buildings in the village have traditional, rural and/or picturesque views. Significant historic buildings include the Church of England parish church of St. Margaret, Mapledurham Watermill and Mapledurham House.

Moulsford Human settlement in England

Moulsford is a village and civil parish and former manor in South Oxfordshire. Before 1974 it was in the county of Berkshire, in Wallingford Rural District, but following the Berkshire boundary changes of that year it became a part of Oxfordshire, in the district of South Oxfordshire. Moulsford is on the A329, by the River Thames, just north of Streatley and south of Wallingford. The west of the parish is taken up by the foothills of the Berkshire Downs, including the Moulsford Downs, Moulsford Bottom and Kingstanding Hill are traditionally associated with King Alfred and the Battle of Ashdown. Like many other villages in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire it has been used for the filming of Midsomer Murders.

Childrey Human settlement in England

Childrey is a village and civil parish about 2 12 miles (4 km) west of Wantage in the Vale of White Horse. The parish was part of the Wantage Rural District in Berkshire until the 1974 boundary changes transferred the whole of the Vale of White Horse from Berkshire to Oxfordshire. The 2011 Census recorded the parish population as 582.

North Stoke, Oxfordshire Human settlement in England

North Stoke is a small village beside the River Thames in the Crowmarsh civil parish in South Oxfordshire, 2 miles (3.2 km) south of the market town of Wallingford. Its Church of St Mary is Grade I listed.

Cleeve Lock

Cleeve Lock is a lock on the River Thames, in Oxfordshire, England. It is located just upstream of Streatley on the same side of the river. The village of Cleeve is on the opposite bank near Goring.

Nuffield, Oxfordshire Human settlement in England

Nuffield is a village and civil parish in the Chiltern Hills in South Oxfordshire, England, just over 4 miles (6 km) east of Wallingford. The 2011 Census recorded the parish population as 939.

Goring & Streatley Golf Club

Goring & Streatley Golf Club is a golf course in the village of Streatley, in the English county of Berkshire. It takes its name partly from that village, and partly from the adjoining village of Goring-on-Thames in the county of Oxfordshire. The course adjoins the National Trust properties of Lardon Chase, the Holies and Lough Down.

References

  1. Key Statistics: Dwellings; Quick Statistics: Population Density; Physical Environment: Land Use Survey 2005
  2. Ridgeway 40 website
  3. Golton, Edward (2002). "Roman Milestones near Streatley?". The South Oxfordshire Archaeological Group Bulletin (57). Archived from the original on 24 December 2012. Retrieved 22 October 2009.
  4. Fred. S. Thacker The Thames Highway: Volume II Locks and Weirs 1920 – republished 1968, David & Charles.
  5. "Streatley – A little bit of history". Streatley Parish Council. Retrieved 17 September 2020.
  6. "Goring and Streatley amenity website". Gandsamenity.co.uk. Retrieved 5 February 2010.
  7. "Hansrd HC Deb 8 July 1994 vol 246 c330W". Hansard.millbanksystems.com. 8 July 1994. Retrieved 5 February 2010.
  8. "BUfVC Recording".
  9. 1 2 3 "Election Maps". Ordnance Survey. Retrieved 27 February 2008.
  10. Christopher Winn: I Never Knew That about the Thames (London: Ebury Press, 2010), p. 78.
  11. "The history of St Mary's Church, Streatley". St Mary's, Streatley. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  12. Historic England (14 April 1967). "Church of St Mary  (Grade II) (1213283)". National Heritage List for England .
  13. John Eade. "Where Thames Smooth Waters Glide". Thames.me.uk. Retrieved 5 February 2010.

Sources and further reading