Monday, 15 August 2022

Hidden Henley

Hidden Henley

PROMPTED by a reader’s response to my item about the interior of St Mary’s Church in Henley three weeks ago, here is something else to seek out while you are there.

The photograph shows the memorial stone for
William Hayward who it describes as a “truly ingenious man”.

As many readers will know, he designed Henley Bridge, which is still giving sterling service more than 200 years later despite the arrival of modern traffic.

One story goes that Hayward gave up his seat to a woman on a crowded public coach during tempestuous weather and as a result caught a cold, which turned into a fever from which he died, aged 42.

Curiously, he had frequently expressed a wish that should he die before the completion of the bridge, he should be buried beneath the central arch.

Needless to say, he didn’t get his wish!

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