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Pictures of Henley on Thames

a Historic Market Town in the county of Oxfordshire

About Henley on Thames

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Henley held the very first regatta in 1839 and in the year 1851 Prince Albert became Patron of the Regatta, thus giving the event the pretigious title of Royal Henley Regatta. Today, Henley Regatta is a major international rowing event revered and attended by enthusiasts from all over England and beyond.

This gracious town bears all the hallmarks of prosperity. There are many beautiful buildings to be seen and these include numerous fine Georgian buildings, including the Kenton Theatre which was built in 1805 and is the fourth oldest in England. Other notable buildings are the 14th-century Chantry House and the Speakers House, once home to William Lenthall, speaker in the house of commons from 1629 to 1640 and his signature is on the execution warrant of King Charles Ist.

Henley, has always been dominated by the activities surrounding 'Old Father Thames' for in earlier times the prosperity enjoyed by the town came mainly from the great agricultural holdings of the surrounding countryside when the river was used for the transportation of grain and produce from the land.

The beautiful 5 srched bridge that spans the river was built in 1786 and replaced an earlier one. Near to the bridge is St.Mary's church which has a 16th-century tower containing distinctive flint and stone chequerwork. The interior of the church was restored during the 19th-century and contains some fine craftsmanship and many treasures.

There is a unique atmosphere surrounding Henley and perhaps this is largely due to the great social occasion of the regatta which seems to extend all the year round. Visitors pour into Henley at every time of year, they come to stroll the ancient town on foot and to enjoy the river scene from a comfortable trip on a pleasure craft. The river banks are lined with beautiful houses and cottages, all with wide manicured lawns and pretty gardens that sweep down to the waters edge and most have little jetties to which a handsome craft is anchored. A visit here is a richly rewarding experience, it is a place where you can soak up the ancient history of the town, while enjoying it's wide open spaciousness.

There are some excellent shops in Henley including several interesting antique emphoriums and there are good hotels, inns and restaurants. Places of interest nearby include the Shire Horse Centre, the National Trust property of Grays Court and there is a Museum that records much of the town's history. The Thames path runs through the area from which you can enjoy the river and it's wildlife.

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