Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Hidden Henley

THIS plaque is on the building above the shops at the bottom of Greys Road.

THIS plaque is on the building above the shops at the bottom of Greys Road.

It says “Lenthall” and then “Road widened by corporation” and the date of 1896. Around the crest of Henley-on-Thames are the words “Ville de Henley Sicillivm Cardiani”.

Several streets around here were widened thanks to the demolition of timber-framed cottages along one side of Duke Street. Old postcards show the Reading Road, just round the corner, with substantial gardens in front of some large properties such as Southfield House which were also sacrificed in the name of progress.

I can’t explain the name Lenthall unless it is a reference to William Lenthall who was the speaker of House of Commons in the 17th century and reputedly lived in the house opposite St Mary’s Church, now called Speaker’s House.

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