Monday, 27 September 2021

These two beautiful, historic villages need your support if they are to continue to thrive

THE villages of Streatley and Goring stand on opposite sides of the River Thames, with Oxfordshire

THE villages of Streatley and Goring stand on opposite sides of the River Thames, with Oxfordshire on one side and on the other West Berkshire, linked by a beautiful bridge.

The attractive village of Goring and its riverside setting offers views of the Chiltern Hills and Berkshire Downs, coupled with much of the village between the river and the railway line being a conservation area, with many of the buildings being listed.

It is believed the lock was built by the local miller to provide a head of water to drive the water wheel.

Goring had a corn mill in Saxon times and later on it was used to generate the village electricity, but this is now a private residence.

The “Goring Gap” is recognised as one of the most beautiful stretches of the Thames. The river flows between the two hill ranges, both of which are in designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with spectacular scenery that has been used for settings of such classic books as The Wind in The Willows, Watership Down and Three Men in a Boat.

Some of the most photographed and painted scenes in England are of Goring Lock, the weir and the rural landscape that surrounds it, especially the scenes from the bridge.

The Church of St Thomas of Canterbury has one of the oldest bells in the country which was cast in about 1290 but is no longer rung. At one time there was an Augustinian priory, built adjoining the church, which was shared with the parishioners. A barn belonging to the Old Farm House in Station Road is reputed to be 15th century and it is thought parts of the Old Vicarage may be 16th century.

There were, of course, many old buildings in the village but many were demolished in the 20th century and small housing estates built where they stood. The oldest inn is the Catherine Wheel in Station Road, which is thought to date back to Elizabethan times.

The Goring and Streatley Festival is the new annual cultural event and celebration for the villages of Goring and Streatley. Last year’s inaugural festival extended over 10 days in June and July, with 46 events including music, art, dance, theatre, comedy, literary, workshops and more. The local pubs and clubs provided many fringe events to add to the activities in the villages so there were plenty of things to do and see. The festival culminated in the spectacular ‘Last Night of the Proms’ on Streatley Meadows, a free event that everyone enjoyed.

In addition to such beautiful surroundings Goring and Streatley have everything available to make it possible to “keep it local”.

However, it is important that local people support these businesses, shops and services to ensure they are on hand.

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