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River Thames at Streatley - - 337061.jpg
The Thames at Streatley
Grid reference: SU5980
Location: 51°31’23"N, 1°9’-0"W
Population: 974  (2001)
Post town: Reading
Postcode: RG8
Dialling code: 01491
Local Government
Council: West Berkshire
Website: Streatley Parish Council

Streatley is a village on the River Thames in Berkshire. It stands in the Goring Gap on the River Thames and is directly across the river from the Oxfordshire village of Goring-on-Thames.

During the summer small electric boats can be rented from here to explore the Thames.

Streatley's ancient inn, The Bull has in its garden the rather unusual burial site of a monk and a nun executed in 1440 for 'misconduct'.

The village is about eight miles from Reading and 16 miles from Oxford. It is connected to Goring across the river by the Goring and Streatley Bridge, with its adjacent lock and weir. Goring & Streatley railway station on the Great Western Main Line is in Goring and serves both villages.

The village is mostly surrounded by National Trust land: Lardon Chase, the Holies and Lough Down.

The Ridgeway long distance path passes through the village, which is the finishing line for the annual "Ridgeway 40" walk and trail run.[1] The Thames Path, Icknield Way and the Ridgeway all cross the Thames at Streatley.

Parish church

St Mary's

The parish church of St Mary. It used to be part of the Reading Episcopal Area of the Diocese of Oxford, but has now moved to the Dorchester Episcopal Area, a grouping crossing the county boundary for the first time in 1,400 years. The village has a Church of England primary school with a feeder pre-school attached to it.


Streatley stands at an ancient crossing point, at the way through the Goring Gap and where the Ridgeway reaches the Thames, where the downs meet the river. Neolithic tools have been found at the base of Lough Down and Bronze Age artefacts have been found in the village. A Roman milestone still stands in the village, at the Bull crossroads.[2]

Streatley is listed in the Domesday Book of 1086.

In 1674, sixty people were drowned at Streatley when a ferry capsized.[3]

In days past, the whole of Streatley was 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 was not rebuilt, and on the death of Emily Morrell in 1938 the estate was sold. 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.[4]

In 1979, an IRA bomb exploded in a postman's bag on a bicycle in the village.[5]

In literature

View from Streatley Hill, 1892

The village is the subject of the late Victorian poem "A Streatley Sonata" by Joseph Ashby-Sterry:[6]

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!

The Bull at Streatley was made famous by Jerome K Jerome's Three men in a boat:

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.

Big Society

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 is a local regatta for amateur teams of inhabitants of the two villages.

A Torchlight Procession of villagers and visitors merges with another stream from Goring each Christmas Eve, in an attractive night-time spectacle which continues onto Streatley Recreation Ground where celebrations continue with an annual Carol Singing Service.

There is a golf course in the village, founded in 1895, which has views of the Thames and Ridgeway.

Streatley Hill is a destination for cycling hill climbs - the annual Reading Cycle Hill Climb takes place every September. The hill featured in the Tour of Britain in 2008 as a designated King of the Mountains climb.

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Streatley)


Stichens Green
  1. [1] Ridgeway 40 website
  2. Golton, Edward (2002). "Roman Milestones near Streatley?". The South Oxfordshire Archaeological Group Bulletin (57). Retrieved 2009-10-22. 
  3. Fred. S. Thacker The Thames Highway: Volume II Locks and Weirs 1920 - republished 1968 David & Charles
  4. "Goring and Streatley amenity website". Retrieved 2010-02-05. 
  5. "Hansrd HC Deb 08 July 1994 vol 246 c330W". 1994-07-08. Retrieved 2010-02-05. 
  6. John Eade. "Where Thames Smooth Waters Glide". Retrieved 2010-02-05.