Purley-on-Thames


Purley-on-Thames

infobox UK place
country = England
official_name = Purley-on-Thames
civil_parish = Purley-on-Thames
unitary_england = West Berkshire
lieutenancy_england = Berkshire
region = South East England
constituency_westminster = Reading West
os_grid_reference = SU661762
latitude = 51.48088
longitude = -1.04665

Purley-on-Thames, (referred to as "Purley"), is a village and civil parish in Berkshire, England. It forms part of the Reading urban area, but remains outside the borough, in West Berkshire.

Location

Purley is situated about convert|3|mi|km|lk=on north-west of Reading, and convert|2|mi|km east of Pangbourne. Its original location was at the edge of the flood-plain of the River Thames, where the valley side starts to rise sharply. Both the Reading to Oxford road (A329) and the Great Western Main Line railway pass along this slope higher than the original village centre, which is linked to the A329 by two steep lanes crossing the railway.Ordnance Survey (2006). "OS Explorer Map 159 - Reading". ISBN 0-319-23730-3.]

Later developments have shaped the suburb in two different directions. The area of "Purley Riverside" has grown up on the flood-plain towards the river in a rather unplanned fashion, with many homes ranging from converted rail carriages to self-built modernistic houses; residents here have to contend with occasional flooding. Higher up the valley side, more recent developments have resulted in several large estates of houses, and this side of the suburb merges into Tilehurst without any clear boundary.Ordnance Survey (2006). "OS Explorer Map 159 - Reading". ISBN 0-319-23730-3.]

Although the main line railway passes through Purley, the nearest rail access is at Tilehurst station to the east or Pangbourne station to the west. Reading Buses provides a frequent (3 buses an hour during week days) bus service to Reading. Less frequent bus services operate to the centre of Tilehurst, and to Pangbourne.cite web | title = Reading Buses - Service Route Details - From 25th February 2008 | url = http://www.reading-buses.co.uk/Service%20route%20details%20from%2025%20Feb/ | publisher = Reading Transport Ltd | accessdate = 2008-02-29]

Government

The civil parish of Purley covers the original village and two suburban areas described above, together with meadow land on the Thames flood plain to the north, and some farmed higher ground to the south-west. There are no other significant settlements within the parish, but it does include Mapledurham Lock.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 by the River Thames and the Oxfordshire parishes of Whitchurch-on-Thames and Mapledurham on the other side of the river. To the south of the river it is bordered by the Borough of Reading (which is unparished) and by the parishes of Tilehurst, Tidmarsh with Sulham and Pangbourne.cite web | url = http://www.election-maps.co.uk/ | title = Election Maps | publisher = Ordnance Survey | accessdate = 2008-02-27]

The parish forms part the unitary authority of West Berkshire. It is within the Reading West parliamentary constituency.cite web | url = http://www.election-maps.co.uk/ | title = Election Maps | publisher = Ordnance Survey | accessdate = 2008-02-27]

History

Purley has been settled since at least Saxon times. The original settlements were based on Purley Magna (near modern-day Purley Park), Purley Parva (about a mile west of Purley Magna) and Purley La Hyde. Purley's Saxon church was demolished in the time of Stephen and Matilda, to be replaced by the current Norman church, St Mary the Virgin. It was once home to Nell Gwynne.fact|date=February 2008

References

External links

* [http://www.stmaryspurley.org.uk St Mary's Church, Purley]
* [http://www.purleyonthames.net Purley-on-Thames Parish Council]
* [http://www.purleyonthames.net/docs/VP%20BG%20%20HISTORY.pdf History of Purley]


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