Thursday, 24 January 2019

Hidden Henley

Hidden Henley

THESE buildings at Northfield End, Henley, housed the grammar school until 1928.

In the 18th century they were part of the Bell Inn, which was an important stagecoach stop with enough stabling for 100 horses.

Earlier still, in the early 1640s, the young Prince Rupert, who was a cousin of Charles I, used it as his base for royalist troops to keep watch on the activities at the garrisons along the River Thames further downstream.

Several buildings around here have included the prince’s name in their name, such as Rupert House School.

Most local history books record the Prince as having hanged a parliamentary spy from a large tree that would have been towards the left of my picture.

Some say that the tree was claimed by Dutch Elm disease in the Seventies while others say that the trunk at least survived until 1995 when it was finally removed.

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