Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Goring-on-Thames and Streatley - England

For the followers who wanted to see and hear something about the UK while I am here, I hope the following will fit the bill! We were driving through this beautiful village on Saturday and although we did not have much time to look around, we did manage to get some reasonable photos. Note that some photos will enlarge and some will not!! This seems to be some html trick that Google are playing at which I cannot sort out !

Goring-on-Thames (or more briefly, Goring) in South Oxfordshire, has a resident population of 3,500, and is a very picturesque village in the London commuter belt. Its rail link means that many people work in London, Reading or other towns but can enjoy the pleasures of living in the country. Housing is therefore very much on the expensive side!

The two villages of Goring and Streatley, now in Oxfordshire and West Berkshire respectively, due to a quirk in county boundary re-alignment, have grown up on opposite banks of the Thames, in a location now designated by the government as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Romans built a causeway to ford the river here and the history of the two towns is well documented from the time of the Norman Conquest in 1066. Goring had a priory, which 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 Thames 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. New river locks, built in 1787, improved accessibility to the capital for freight barges.

A toll bridge over the river was built in 1837, and in 1840 the Great Western Railway opened Goring Station, providing a station on the main railway line from the west of England to London. The first schools were opened about this time. A better, free bridge, was completed in 1923. Some old timbers still remain in the bridge structure and can be seen today.

Streatley in West Berkshire has a population of only some 600. Before the toll bridge was built, the two villages had little contact; in fact, Streatley originally was larger and more important than Goring, because it was on the turnpike road to Reading. Today, the two villages work together as one community, organising and sharing in local amenities and activities, and co-operating in the preservation of their joint heritage.

Since 1979, Goring has been twinned with Bellême, a small town in Normandy, Northern France and was voted Oxfordshire Village of the Year 2009 and South East regional winner 2009-10 of the Village of the Year.



Goring weir on the Thames

Goring lock with water at lower river level.

Here it is filling rapidly with swirling water for the approaching boat.

The boat entering the lock

and in the lock

Going down...........

Water down to the lower level and the boat is on its way once more. This all happened  within about 10 minutes.

Goring Post Office with the old telephone box outside.

Goring Mill

The old curved oak supports still used as part of the mainly concrete bridge structure.

One of the beautiful houses along the river bank.

Streatley church which we did not have time to investigate further.

I hope that you enjoyed the trip over the bridge between Goring and Streatley.  I will be back where my heart is in France for my next post :-)


Information on two towns with thanks to the following:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goring-on-Thames
http://www.goring-gap.co.uk/ 

47 comments:

  1. Merci Diane pour ce superbe voyage dans ce beau village anglais.Vos photos sont magnifiques , les couleurs automnales rendent les lieux encore plus attrayants.Ce village mérite bien son titre de plus beau village de l'année!

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  2. Well hello!!!!... I am the first today to post a comment!!
    See... England is a beautiful place too!
    Thanks for this wonderful trip, I enjoyed it tremendously!
    And a plus for the lovely weather that allowed for these great shots!
    It has been so long since I last went there!
    Cheers, Diane!

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  3. Merci lejardindelucie. Je suis heureux que vous ayez apprécié la visite. Diane

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  4. Sorry Noushka you were still beaten into first place :-) It really is a pretty village and I am glad we had a chance to make a quick stop. Hope all well there. Cheers Diane

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  5. I can understand your heart being in France, but you have to admit that you could do worse than Goring - it looks delightful. xxxxx

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  6. Diane I could not agree more BUT it is not in the middle of the country, in a hamlet of only 10 houses where everyone is my friend even if there is a language difference. Everyone helps each other, we swop fruits, jams and vegetables and when they go out shooting I never go short :-) I have become very spoilt!! Diane xx

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  7. What a beautiful place, Diane! I just love those houses and the river scenes!

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  8. JM it really is a picture post card town. It is lovely. Thanks for the comment. Diane

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  9. Well, as an American... to my eyes both of your countries are amazing and gorgeous. I have never heard of this little village but will put it on my list for next summer!

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  10. longpastremembered, these are two small towns that I am sure you would love. I look forward to your post next year as I know you will find all the history attached to them :-) Diane

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  11. This is a very beautiful place, Thanks for your effort to sharing us these lovely pictures.

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  12. I enjoyed those photos of lovely england... not that I'm homesick. Well, maybe just a bit!

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  13. Sonia it is a pleasure, glad you enjoyed the min tour. Diane

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  14. Jan this is a particularly lovely area, but I am still home sick for France, and I have to admit S.Africa as well. I love France though. Diane

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  15. Thank you for doing this post...it's fun to learn about your country. I love, love, love the 2nd photo!!

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  16. That is a really old and beautiful part of England Diane and your photographs does it justice.

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  17. Pam I agree it is a lovely photo and one of the few that google still allows us to enlarge!! I wish I knew what the problem is. I will probably do one UK post a month while I am here, the rest I will stay in France or bring some recipes upto date. Diane

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  18. Thanks Joan, I have to admit that some of the villages here are as interesting as the ones in France :-) The trouble is the weather is not as good!!! Diane

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  19. Yes, this is certainly a postcard village. Do hope to see a few more like it even though your heart is in France.

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  20. Gaelyn, I will do a few more on villages in England but I do not travel much here so it will be limited. Fuel is about $8.40 a gallon and we just can not afford it!! Diane

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  21. What a beautiful place, with so much charm and history! Your pictures are really lovely!

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  22. Diane, lovely pictures. Thank you for taking us along in the UK. One day, yes, one day, I will come to England.

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  23. Thanks Faith, we were lucky to drive past there last weekend or I may never have got these pictures. Diane

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  24. Susan there some lovely places here, but I just want to move to the country and my French friends :-) Diane

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  25. What a beautiful place! The curved oak supports are astonishing! Thank you for another lovely tour, Diane.

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  26. Thank you for the tour and information about these two villages. So quaint, so lovely.

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  27. Marjie, as an engineer I can see why you appreciate the oak supports. It is a beautiful place. Diane

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  28. Mya, glad you enjoyed the tour, you are right quaint is a good word to use. Diane

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  29. Wonderful post Diane.. yes it is a lovely area :-)

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  30. Thanks Anne, it must be one of the prettiest areas around. Diane

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  31. Diane like you my heart is elsewhere but I have to admit that this post did remind me that the UK is very beautiful, just a lot of other things are not so great :(

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  32. Lindy, yes there are many beautiful places in England, fantastic to visit on holiday!! I just do not want to live here :-( Diane

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  33. Thank you for the lovely trip thru the locks and what a pretty village.
    You seem to have the best of both worlds Diane, living between beautiful France & lovely rural England. I have walked in the Cotswold area twice, with HF Holidays and love that pretty area.
    Have a lovely week-end
    ~Dianne~

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  34. Stunning photos Diane, makes me feel glad I live here! Our Autumn displays have been brilliant this year too, and your photos of wells reminded my of our time in the Charente, where most of the local villages seemed to have a disused but pretty well. It's a shame we seem to have filled in almost all of our old wells around here, I bet the water tastes better than Thames Water Company!

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  35. Dianne, there are some beautiful places here in the UK and the cotswolds are particulalry stunning. My heart still stays in France though!! You have a good weekend as well. Sure your weather must be better than ours! Diane

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  36. The Cottage Garden Farmer. This autumn seems to have been particularly colorful. I guess the wells in England have been filled in for health and safety! I wish we had a well in our garden in France; it would make watering our garden so much cheaper!! Diane

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  37. Gorgeous village, thanks for touring us. I really want to go back to England, given the chance :).

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  38. Lani, England is good for a holiday I just have no desire to live here! Diane

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  39. Very interesting post Diane! Your photos are excellent and I love that house by the water.

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  40. Pam, glad you enjoyed it, I would love that house in summer but I bet it is cold in winter!! Diane

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  41. Beautiful pictures. I love the one of the post office with the red telephone booth outside. The colors are great!

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  42. Lyndsey it is surprising how everyone has picked different photos as the one they like. At least hopefully I have pleased all!! Glad you liked the pictures. Diane

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  43. Such GORGEOUS pics, Diane...

    I can TOTALLLLLY see myself living somewhere green in England, or even in London!! It's a beautiful country!

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  44. Leesa you are welcome to England even if it is beautiful, I will stick to France :-) Diane

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  45. Um

    saying "The two villages of Goring and Streatley, now in Oxfordshire and West Berkshire respectively, due to a quirk in county boundary re-alignment" is slightly wrong, as Streatley used to be in Wessex, and Goring in Mercia. They've been in separate counties/countries for at least 1200 years...

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