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Pictures of Hambleden

St. Mary's Church

About Hambleden

Hambleden is an attractive village set in the valley of the Chilterns, close to the River Thames. It has a "Picture-Postcard" image with pretty flint and stone cottages spread out around the church.

Sheltering beneath a Chestnut tree, and believed to be still in use is the old village pump, this stands raised on a square opposite a tumble of houses with tiled roofs, tall chimney pots and pretty gardens.

On the banks of the Thames, reached by a road once used by the Romans, is the handsome white-timbered Hambleden Mill believed to date back to the 14th century - this is now converted into luxury apartments, but although the interior may be much altered the exterior of the building still retains its timeless charm. Near to this is Hambleden Lock where the river can be crossed via a narrow bridge to the Berkshire banks of the Thames.

The village is recorded in the Doomsday Book of 1086, it received its Royal in 1315 giving it the right to hold a market and a fair on St.Bartholomew's Day (August 24th), although this was discontinued later.

Probably the best known building in the village is the 14th century church dedicated to St.Mary the Virgin. The church shows alterations of a later date, this includes the tower which was rebuilt in 1721. Amongst the treasures to be seen in this spacious church are a beautifully carved Norman font, which is believed to have been used to baptize Thomas Cantelupe, who was canonized. The chancel contains lovely carving, a beautiful sedilia and piscina. On the walls visitors will note many interesting brasses, but it is the north transept which contains one of the churches finest features - the impressive monument dedicated to Sir Cope D'Oyley, his wife Martha and their ten children. Interestingly, father and sons are dressed in Royalist costume, with mother and daughters clothed as Roundheads. Sir Cope D'Oyley died in 1633, the monument shows the entire family kneeling in prayer.

Latter day history records the village to be the birthplace of William Henry Smith who founded the famous book-store chain W.H. Smith in 1821.

Anyone visiting the area will find plenty to see and do, it is a particularly pleasant place for walking with walks designed to take in the best of Chiltern scenery, passing through beechwoods and other nearby hamlets with a wealth of interesting, expensive properties. There are also lovely riverside strolls where you can enjoy grassy banks, see colourful river boats and enjoy watching the rich wildlife of the river.

The village is home to the noted Stag and Huntsman Inn which can be found in the middle of the village, it has a restaurant and offers overnight accommodation.

On arriving in Hambleden casting an immediate glance at the quintessential Englishness of your surroundings, you could easily feel you have seen it before - this is due to the village's popularity as a backdrop for some of today's film and television shows.

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