Streatley, Berkshire


Streatley, Berkshire

infobox UK place
country = England
official_name= Streatley
latitude= 51.523
longitude= -1.15
population= 974 (2001 census data)
civil_parish= Streatley
unitary_england= West Berkshire
lieutenancy_england=Berkshire
region= South East England
constituency_westminster= Newbury
post_town= READING
postcode_district = RG8
postcode_area= RG
dial_code= 01491
os_grid_reference= SU591807

Streatley is a village and civil parish on the River Thames in the English county of Berkshire.

Location

Streatley is located some convert|8|mi|km from Reading and convert|16|mi|km from Oxford. It is attractively situated nestling in the 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. The two villages share Goring & Streatley railway station on the line from Reading to Oxford, although the station is actually situated in Goring.ref|osexp1ref|osexp2 The village is mostly surrounded by National Trust land.

Nearby towns and cities: Oxford, Reading, Wallingford

Nearby villages: Aldworth, Goring-on-Thames, Lower Basildon, Moulsford, Pangbourne

History

Being in such a vital crossing point on the Thames, Streatley has been around for a long time and was mentioned in the Domesday book. Its history is even older, and Neolithic tools have been found at the base of Lough Down,and Bronze age artifacts have been found in the village. There is also a remaining Roman milestone still present in the village, at the Bull crossroads. [http://www.soagarch.org.uk/milestones.html] Sixty people were drowned here in 1674 when a ferry capsized in the flash lock. [Fred. S. Thacker "The Thames Highway: Volume II Locks and Weirs" 1920 - republished 1968 David & Charles]

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 trainline and extra houses that went to Goring. However, the mill burned down in 1926, and wasn't rebuilt, and on the death of Emily Morrell in 1938 the estate was sold, and the manor house as well as other houses in the village became part of the Royal Veterinary College, which had moved out of London during the Blitz. They left in 1958. [http://www.gandsamenity.co.uk/streatley.htm]

The village mentioned in the poem "A Streatley Sonata" by J. Ashby-Sterry [http://thames.me.uk/s01250.htm] from the late 19th CenturyCquote|"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!"|Ashbury Sterry

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 east, and includes the hamlet of Stichens Green.cite web | url = http://www.election-maps.co.uk/ | title = Election Maps | publisher = Ordnance Survey | accessdate = 2008-02-27]

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.cite web | url = http://www.election-maps.co.uk/ | title = Election Maps | publisher = Ordnance Survey | accessdate = 2008-02-27]

The parish falls within the area of the unitary authority of West Berkshire. Both the parish council and the unitary authority are responsible for different aspects of local government. The parish also forms part of the Newbury parliamentary consituency.cite web | url = http://www.election-maps.co.uk/ | title = Election Maps | publisher = Ordnance Survey | accessdate = 2008-02-27]

There is a highly regarded Church of England primary school in the village [http://education.guardian.co.uk/bestschools/page/0,,1565672,00.html] and a feeder Preschool [http://www.streatleyhillpreschool.org.uk/] attached to it. Despite the small size of the village, both are often over subscribed with people from neighbouring villages trying to attend.

Amenities

Streatley contains only one public house, The Bull at Streatley [http://www.thebullatstreatley.com/] , which was made famous by Jerome K Jerome's '3 men in a boat', it serves a great variety of beers and ales for all customers that visit the village. Food and accommodation is available here also. The Bull's garden is also the rather unusual burial site of a monk and a nun executed in 1440 for 'misconduct'.Cquote|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.|Three Men in a Boat

There is a 4* hotel in the village - the Swan at Streatley [http://www.swanatstreatley.co.uk] , which during the 1970s was owned by the drag artiste Danny La Rue. It's now under different management, and is very popular due to its riverside location.

St. Mary's church in Streatley [http://www.achurchnearyou.com/venue.php?V=313] 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.

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's a regatta for amateur teams made from the inhabitants of the two villages.

There is also a renowned Golf course in the village, founded in 1895. It is very hilly in places, but does have lovely views of the Thames and Ridgeway.

Miscellany

The Ridgeway long distance path passes through the village, which is the finishing line for the annual "Ridgeway 40" walk and trail run [http://ridgeway40.org.uk/] .

There is a Youth hostel [http://www.yhastreatley.org.uk/] in the village. The nearest other hostels are in Wantage (14 miles) and Oxford (19 miles).

There was a bicycle bomb in the village in 1979. It was apparently the work of the IRA.

The village will feature in the 2008 Tour of Britain cycling race; it is the designated King of the Mountains stage.

See also

* List of places in Berkshire
* List of civil parishes in England
* Lardon Chase, the Holies and Lough Down

References

* Ordnance Survey (1999). "OS Explorer Map 170 - Abingdon, Wantage & Vale of White Horse". ISBN 0-319-21794-9.
* Ordnance Survey (1999). "OS Explorer Map 171 - Chiltern Hills West, Henley-on-Thames & Wallingford". ISBN 0-319-21795-7.

External links

*
* [http://www.goring-gap.co.uk/ Goring Gap News]
* [http://www.westberks.org/GroupHomepage.asp?GroupID=3156 Streatley C. of E. Primary School]
* [http://www.streatleyhillpreschool.org.uk/ Streatley Hill Preschool]
* [http://www.westberks.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=6788&p=0 The Village Plan]
* [http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=43255 Streatley History]
* [http://viewfinder.english-heritage.org.uk/search/results.aspx?index=0&mainQuery=streatley&searchType=all&form=home English Heritage historic photos] mostly taken by Henry Taunt


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