infobox UK place

country = England
latitude= 51.75
longitude= -0.97
official_name= Thame
population= 10,886
shire_district= South Oxfordshire
shire_county = Oxfordshire
region= South East England

constituency_westminster= Henley
post_town= THAME
postcode_district = OX9
postcode_area= OX
dial_code= 01844
os_grid_reference= SP710060
london_distance= 46.5mi

Thame (pronounced "Tame", with a silent "h") is a market town in Oxfordshire, England, on the River Thame between Aylesbury and Oxford. It has a population of around 12,000. Situated just short of the county border, Thame lies close to the Buckinghamshire villages of Haddenham and Long Crendon.

The town is 14 miles east of Oxford, 10 miles south-west of Aylesbury and 47 miles from London. To the west of Thame the A418 road joins with the M40 motorway linking London to Birmingham.


Founded in Anglo-Saxon times, Thame grew up to service local agricultural activity and the nearby Cistercian monastery at Thame Park, suppressed at the Dissolution of the Monasteries. The church of St Mary the Virgin dates from about 1240.

The English Civil War of the 1640s saw Thame occupied in turn by both Royalists and Parliamentarians.

During the 18th century, much of the boat-shaped High Street was changed to reflect the wealth of the town, with many buildings often refaced with locally produced salt glazed bricks to make them look like more modern buildings.

It was also during this time that the preacher John Wesley came to Thame. His congregation was so large, the floor gave way, and the crowd fell to the lower floor.

During the nineteenth century, however, Thame's economy took a down-turn, and a workhouse was established at Rycote College.

In 1940, a local truck driver called Willocks McKenzie, whilst walking along the banks of the River Thame, discovered a hoard of gold coins and rings, thought to be at least four hundred years old. The Ashmolean Museum declared it to be treasure trove, and the collection can still be found on display. One of the rings features a distinctive cross with two horizontal sections, not unlike the Cross of Lorraine. This has been adopted as the official logo of Thame Town Council [] .



Thame railway station closed in 1963, and had services to London and Oxford. However, the town is now served by Haddenham and Thame Parkway railway station, a passenger-only station in nearby Haddenham, which was opened in 1987 on the Chiltern Main Line. Thus, the town has very good links to London (Marylebone) and Birmingham (Snow Hill). Train services are operated by Chiltern Railways.


Sustrans secured permission to use the land that the railway line once stood on to create the Phoenix Trail, part of National Cycle Network 57, extending all the way to Oxford. This popular cycle track forms part of a 10,000 mile long network.


Bus destinations from Thame can be found here [] .

Fairs and shows

On the third Thursday of September the town stages the Oxfordshire County and Thame Show which is the largest one day agricultural show in the United Kingdom [] . On the same day the main Thame fair opens. The fair lasts for 3 days and is located in the centre of the town. As a result the High Street, Upper High Street, Cornmarket, Buttermarket and the top of North Street are all temporarily closed to road traffic. In October a smaller fair is held in the parking area in the Upper High Street.

Thame fair became infamous after it was the first event in a town of less than 15,000 inhabitants to witness an intergang fight in which three innocent bystanders received wounds from thrown glass bottles.


W. Lucy & Co. has been based in the town since 2005. The town's two largest employers are CPM Group and Travelodge, who both have their Head Offices located on the periphery of town.

Notable residents

Thame is home to Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees, as well as Jack Bevan of the band Foals. BBC Radio 2 presenter Ken Bruce lives in the neighbouring hamlet of Towersey

Notable former residents include courtier John Williams, 1st Baron Williams de Thame, who founded Lord Williams's Grammar School in the town in 1559, and John Hampden.

Following the Battle of Chalgrove Field, John Hampden, who began his education at Lord William's Grammar School, died as a result of his wounds at the Greyhound Inn. A plaque at the site of this inn marks the occasion.


The Oxfordshire Golf Club lies just outside the town. The Rees Jones designed course has hosted many prestigious tournaments, including the Benson & Hedges International Open between 1996 to 1999.

Thame is also home to Chinnor Rugby Club who currently play in National Division Three South, having won promotion at the end of the 2007-2008 season.


* According to J. R. R. Tolkien's story "Farmer Giles of Ham", Thame got its name because of its resident tame dragon.
* James Figg, who was born in Thame in February 1684, became the first recognized champion of England at bare-fisted fighting. Also an expert at wrestling, swordplay, and fighting and cuddles, he became prominent as a pugilist about 1719, claiming the title 'Champion of England' until 1730. He based his early prize fights in the Greyhound Inn.
* Thame is twinned with Montesson in France.


External links

* []
* [ Thame Local History]
* [ Thame Local News]
* [ Visit Thame]
* [ International Boxing Entry for James (Jemmy) Figg]

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Thame — Thame …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Thame — (spr. tēm), Stadt in Oxfordshire (England), 18 km westlich von Oxford, am schiffbaren Fluß T., der bei Dorchester in die Themse mündet, hat eine alte gotische Kirche (1889 restauriert) und (1901) 2911 Einwohner …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Thame — (spr. tehm), l. Nebenfluß der Themse in den engl. Grafsch. Buckingham und Dorset …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • thame — obs. f. team; Sc. f. them …   Useful english dictionary

  • Thame — This is one of the earliest locational names which originates in Ancient Britain, i.e. pre the Roman Invasion of 54 A.D., but in fact is cognate with the Sinskrit (Indian) Tamasa meaning The Dark River . The modern surnames of Tame, Thame and… …   Surnames reference

  • Thame — Original name in latin Thame Name in other language Thame State code GB Continent/City Europe/London longitude 51.7484 latitude 0.97624 altitude 72 Population 11128 Date 2011 02 16 …   Cities with a population over 1000 database

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  • thame — car·thame; …   English syllables

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