The picturesque village of Streatley on Thames lies in a valley on the Berkshire side of the river between Reading and Oxford, facing Goring on the Oxfordshire side.

The surrounding countryside is designated an area of ‘Outstanding Natural Beauty’ and historically this was a natural crossing point of the river, set between the Berkshire Downs and Chiltern Hills, known geographically as the ‘Goring Gap’.

The interesting High Street, which forms the central part of the village running down to the river and the bridge across to Goring, is now a ‘Conservation Area’ where there is a wealth of period properties, many of considerable architectural merit including a thatched cottage, a beautiful William and Mary house and an Elizabethan Farmhouse, supposedly haunted by a lady in white.

Following the building of the railway through the Thames Valley by Isambard Kingdom Brunel in approximately 1840, the villagers of Streatley decided the railway should go on the Goring side with the result now that while Streatley has changed little, the village of Goring on Thames has grown substantially and is now the larger village.

In the village there is a parish church with Norman origins, a luxury riverside four- star hotel, The Swan and Coppa Club, which also offers a leisure and fitness club and at the top of the High Street is the Bull Inn which was an old coaching inn when the Royal Mail stopped en-route between Oxford and London.

There is also a prestigious golf club, established over one hundred years ago, set amidst beautiful rolling countryside.

The village also boasts its own very well regarded Streatley Primary School, with the outstanding secondary school, ‘The Downs’, being in catchment for the village also, and having its own bus route.

In addition to having well regarded local state primary and secondary schooling, the area is also extremely well served by an excellent range of private schooling, of particular note; Cranford House School, The Oratory Preparatory School, Moulsford Preparatory School, St Andrews Preparatory School, The Oratory School, Pangbourne College, Brockhurst & Marlston House, Downe House, Rupert House School, Shiplake College, The Abbey School, Bradfield College, The Manor Preparatory School, Abingdon School, Abingdon Preparatory School, Radley College, and St Helen & St Katharine.

Behind Streatley the ground rises steeply where the Berkshire Downlands meet the wide Thames Valley and from the top there are panoramic views far into Oxfordshire.

The woodland and hills surrounding Streatley have been acquired in recent years by the National Trust and the extensive bridleways and footpaths are now open to the public.

Across the river, the larger village of Goring-on-Thames offers a wide range of amenities and facilities including shops, modern health centre, traditional inns, a hotel, library, dentist and importantly a main line railway station providing excellent commuter services to Oxford, Reading and up to London (Paddington).

There is also easy access for the major local towns, including Oxford, Reading and Newbury, the M40 and M4 motorways, the latter linking directly to Heathrow.

Crossrail (Elizabeth Line) services have commenced from Reading, with the full service scheduled to commence in shortly, which together with the completed electrification of the line has significantly improved travelling times to Heathrow, London and beyond.

STREATLEY | WEST BERKSHIRE VILLAGERS | AMENITIES AND FACILITIES

Streatley Village Hall was built in 1973 replacing an old wooden structure.

There is keep fit, pilates, yoga and indoor bowls run regularly .

It is undergoing building work during 2020.

There is a village store in nearby Goring.

There is also a Village Hall at Goring.

STREATLEY | WEST BERKSHIRE VILLAGERS| FOOD & DRINK

Worth a big mention is Goring Gap Wildlife Walks with Steve Gozdz, often teamed up with the local eating and drinking facilities.

The Bull Inn is a lovely, traditional 15th Century Coaching Inn in the heart of the village of Streatley, Reading.

The pub has the traditional characteristics of a Coaching Inn and is famous for being made one of the stops in Jerome K Jerome’s book ‘3 Men in a Boat’.

The menu has a huge selection of pub classics from, and if you’re looking for something a little lighter they have plenty more to take your fancy.

Pop in for a pint of cask ale, a refreshing glass of wine or a soft drink, the friendly staff are always on hand to advise on what they have on offer.

They also have six rooms available.

The John Barleycorn is situated at Goring on Thames in stunning Oxfordshire countryside and witihin a short walk of The River Thames.

The John Barleycorn is situated at Goring on Thames in stunning Oxfordshire countryside and witihin a short walk of The River Thames.

A warm and friendly welcome is waiting for all that visit us.

The John Barleycorn’s first recorded use as an ‘ale house’ was in 1810.

It is thought that the railway workers building the line through Goring were its first bunch of regulars.

The building itself dates from the 17th Century. Formerly 3 cottages knocked into one building, it has customary original oak beams, low ceilings and uneven floors!

There are two bars, a public bar with a real fireplace for a warmer in the winter months, also a lounge bar with its own entrance and is situated next to the restaurant where customers can enjoy a pre-dinner drink if they so choose.

The Miller of Mansfield-if you’re stuck for a rural retreat that’s easy to get to, hot on its food, with a serious cellar and perfect for that night or two away from it all, you need the modern inn.

Coppa Club-nestled on the river, and housed in the Swan at Streatley, the beautiful all-day spaces provide a home-from-home for locals to make their own.

The Swan at Streatley- relax with friends, eat good food & enjoy the river.

The Catherine Wheel- the Catherine Wheel (TCW) is an 18th-century award-winning ale house located 2 minutes walk from the Thames Path in the picturesque village of Goring-on-Thames.

Pierreponts café  is a café restaurant in Goring-on-Thames, serving fresh and locally sourced breakfast, brunch, lunch and afternoon tea.

STREATLEY | WEST BERKSHIRE VILLAGERS| SPORTS

Goring & Streatley Golf Club is a golf course in the village of Streatley, in the English county of Berkshire.

There is also Goring Cricket Club.

STREATLEY | WEST BERKSHIRE VILLAGERS| SCHOOLS

There is Streatley C of E Primary School

STREATLEY | WEST BERKSHIRE VILLAGERS| HEALTH

Local GP services  – Goring & Woodcote Medical Centre and The Boathouse Surgery. There is also the Chiltern Medical Clinic.

STREATLEY | WEST BERKSHIRE VILLAGERS | COMMUNICATION

There is a website for people visiting the area.

STREATLEY | WEST BERKSHIRE VILLAGERS | CHURCH

St Marys in Streatley and St. Thomases in Goring.

STREATLEY | WEST BERKSHIRE VILLAGERS | TRANSPORT

No 133, 134L, 142 and 142 B

STREATLEY | WEST BERKSHIRE VILLAGERS|  PARISH COUNCIL

There is Streatley parish council.

STREATLEY | WEST BERKSHIRE VILLAGERS | ENVIRONMENT

There is the main interest in the river. Streatley was first designated as a conservation area in February 1971. 

The Streatley conservation area has, at its core, the gently-curved High Street which is lined with attractive historic buildings, many of them listed, and which contains an open space of importance to the character of the conservation area, directly opposite Streatley House.

High Street is on an east – west alignment, terminating at the River Thames to the east and at the crossroads of High Street, Reading Road, Wallingford Road and Streatley Hill to the west. Along the eastern margins of the village, the conservation area extends southwards along the Thames to encompass the site of the old ford and ferry crossing, and northwards to include a small island (the site of former osier beds).

To the north of High Street and at its eastern end, the conservation area extends to include the Church of St Mary and buildings ancillary to the Swan Hotel.

At the western end of the village, the conservation area extends northwards along the Wallingford Road (A329) to include small developments of 20th- century housing as well as older properties, and southwards along Reading Road (A329) to include The Bull public house and the residential property adjacent. 

The core of the conservation area is largely unspoiled. The majority of modern development in Streatley has taken place outside the conservation area.

Late 19th- century and early to mid 20th- century houses have been built to the north/north-west of the historic core of the village, mainly along Wallingford Road, Wantage Road (A417) and in roads leading from them, and to the south/south-west of the historic core along Reading Road.

Additional 20th- century housing, the majority of it constructed within the latter half of the century, has been built to the west of the historic settlement, off Streatley Hill (B4009), and to the north/north-west along Wallingford Road and between Wallingford Road and Wantage Road. (There is also a late 20th- century development at Cleeve Court, to the north-east of the village and separate from it). 

The majority of buildings within the core of the conservation area are of historic interest: many are listed.

These include the parish Church, at the eastern end of the village, which is of C13th origin. The High Street, the main street, is lined with historic buildings.

Buildings are typically aligned parallel with the street and close to it.

The conservation area lies within the North Wessex Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, adjacent to the River Thames and within the Goring Gap.

The two villages of Goring and Streatley, now in Oxfordshire and West Berkshire respectively, have grown up on opposite banks of the Thames. The Romans built a causeway to ford the river here. In 1000 AD, this area was on the border between Wessex and Mercia when Ethelred the Unready was the Anglo-Saxon King of England.

In 1066, Goring (the name is believed to derive from the Old English word garmeaning spear) was controlled by Wigod, Thane of Wallingford, and Streatley by Asgar the Staller, an official at the court of Edward the Confessor. Following the Norman Conquest, Goring passed to Robert D’Oilley who came over with William and married Wigod’s daughter. Streatley went to Guy de Mandeville, a hard man. 

In 1086, the Domesday Book valued Goring (then called Garinges) at £15 and Streatley at £24.

Streatley probably had an Anglo-Saxon church (St. Mary’s) at the Conquest; Goring’s church dates from 1100 and still exhibits its Norman origins. It was probably dedicated to St. Mary but later changed to St.Thomas (Becket). The Augustinian Priory of Goring was founded about 100 years later, and the nuns were given the rights of Streatley ferry and mill. Farming was the major occupation then, and bad harvests meant famine and often death. The Black Death struck in 1348-9 and also reduced the population.

Goring Priory was dissolved in 1536 when only the Prioress and three nuns were left. Its stones and timber were undoubtedly slowly recycled into other buildings in the locality. 

The river had always been a major highway as well as a power source for water mills. In the 17th century, interest in Thames navigation was expanding as the growth of London demanded ever more commodities of all kinds, and goods could reach the heart of the capital by river. However, locks and a good flow of water were necessary. In 1787, pound locks replaced the flash locks at Goring and Cleeve.

In the early 19th century, Streatley was larger and more important than Goring because it was on the turnpike road to Reading. The post house is now the Bull Inn.

A toll bridge over the river was built in 1837, and in 1840 the Great Western Railway opened Goring Station. The first school was opened in Streatley in 1834 and in Goring in 1850. 

n the early 19th century, Streatley was larger and more important than Goring because it was on the turnpike road to Reading. The post house is now the Bull Inn.

A toll bridge over the river was built in 1837, and in 1840 the Great Western Railway opened Goring Station. The first school was opened in Streatley in 1834 and in Goring in 1850. 

As each village became more accessible and fashionable, a number of palatial houses appeared by the end of the century. A new bridge, free from toll, replaced the original in 1923. Streatley Mill burned down in 1926. The Streatley Estate, owned by the Morrell family (brewers in Oxford) was sold and split up in 1939.

In 1955, main drainage arrived in the villages and heralded the changes we see today. The demolition of some of the large houses began and made way for modern estates, enabling the population to double since 1900.

(With acknowledgements to Goring and Streatley Local History Society)

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