28 Feb 2017

A walk around Hambleden, Buckinghamshire

After a week back from our time in Berkshire I realise that it did us good and our daughter and her sons appreciated seeing us too. One day our daughter drove us to one of the pretty, unspoilt villages we often went to on outings with our children. We would go down to Hambleden Lock just outside Henley-on-Thames where friends had a house whose garden went down to the river. We didn't go down to the lock this time, but instead turned into a country lane and drove to the village of Hambleden itself where we stopped, visited the church and then had a wander around.  We then had a welcome cup of coffee in the village store before heading back to Reading by way of Henley-on Thames.



St Mary the Virgin Church
There has been a church on the site since the late Saxon/early Norman times and although it has been altered and extended over the centuries many of the external and internal features have been retained.  It is cruciform in shape with north and south transepts and a Lady Chapel on the south side with its own entrance door.


The patronage of the church went with the manor of some 4,800 acres as recorded in the Domesday Book (1086). The site of the original manor house  was located nearby, probably where the early Georgian house, Kendricks, now stands.  At one time it was the rectory and now is a private house.
From the Middle Ages the manor was the property of the Scrope family, important members of society in North Yorkshire.  Emanuel Scrope who built the manor house in 1603 was the great grandson of Henry VIII through an illegitimate son of the King and his mistress, Mary Boleyn (sister of Ann). King Charles I spent a night at the manor house when he was on the run from those who opposed the monarchy. The Sealed Knot Society, a group who re-enact historical events of the English Civil War has held one in the fields surrounding the manor house and I remember many years ago coming to such an event, making a day of it and having a picnic with the family. About 1666 King Charles II was patron and appointed the rector who had been his chaplain during his exile in France.  (My adapted notes are taken from the booklet purchased in the church).  I'm grateful to a member of the congregation who was present in the church at the time for showing us around. 


entrance to the bell tower




brasses on the wall on either side of the entrance to the tower 


the 12th century font or earlier (possibly late Saxon)


a memorial window - one of two in the nave and brass memorial dedicated to W.H. Smith, son of the founder of the bookseller and news agency firm who lived at a house called 'Greenlands', now Henley Business Management College.  On his death his widow was created Viscountess Hambleden of Hambleden. 



the nave looking towards the chancel and sanctuary


the roof of the chancel


looking towards the north transept from the nave


The monument of Sir Cope D'Oyley (d. 1633) and Martha his wife (d. 1618) and their ten children.
The family lived at 'Greenlands'.  The alabaster figures were originally coloured and gilded. 
Those children holding skulls died before their parents. the inscriptions are on black marble.


the south transept from the nave



This oak altar is known as the Wolsey Altar. It was carved in the early 16th century
 by Dutch or Italian craftsmen and includes the arms of Cardinal Wolsey on one of the panels. It was probably a bed-head which came to the manor house at the time of the marriage of Elizabeth Sandys  (widow) to Ralph Scrope of Hambleden



The Lady Chapel


snowdrops were in flower in the churchyard





The village remains unspoilt and has been
used during the filming of  many television drama series
 although one usually just gets a glimpse
of certain buildings during these episodes. 


the village hall



the playing fields


'Kendricks', the former manor house and rectory


the village shop and post office


 The river at Henley-on-Thames.





I've had some technical difficulties with my Internet connection in the last few days.  I'm up and running again and hope to share some more of our time away before I take another break from blogging.
Wishing you a good day and a good rest of the week,




31 comments:

  1. Hambleden is a pretty little village with a beautiful church, and a lovely tour! What an amazing chancel roof.
    I have many memories of picnics by the Thames in Henley as a child with my family.
    Have a wonderful Tuesday :)

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    1. Thank you. Have a good rest of the week!

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  2. Love that church so full of history

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    1. It is indeed a church full of history, Bill. I haven't shared many of the photos I took. The stained glass windows are beautiful.

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  3. What an enchanting village no wonder it is a magnet for film and television producers. I'd love to go inside the village shop and the church, of course which looks beautiful inside. The colours in the lady chapel, the painted roof of the chancel and the carved oak altar are wonderful. Thank you for taking us on your lovely visit to Hambleden:)

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the walk around the village. The village shop was well stocked with local produce etc. and it was good to see the post office facility. So many village post offices are closing. We sat and enjoyed our coffee in a corner near the window.

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  4. it is a rare thing these days to find unpoiled places. this one is beautiful and I love the photo with the red van in it. those buildings are amazing history from the past and I have seen them in movies just like this and in my head when I read about them

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    1. Hambleden has stayed unspoilt. It was a pleasure to visit once again.

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  5. It was a joy to visit and take the tour through your eyes. A truly beautiful place to visit.

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the walk around the village and in the church.

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  6. What a fascinating church - thank you. I know Hambledon as I used to live about half an hour's drive away, but I never visited the church. And W H Smith, First Lord of the Admiralty with almost no naval experience. Do you know HMS Pinafore? "Stick close to your desks and never go to sea, and you all may be rulers of the Queen's Navy!" Love it! x

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    1. Thanks for visiting Mrs Tiggywinkle. The church is a gem. I'm being sentimental, but I know it was one of the last churches my mother visited with her Reading church group and I still have a prayer card from there that she gave me. The villagers seem helpful and friendly, especially in the village shop. It made the revisit most enjoyable. I'm singing that song in my head now!

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  7. It is wonderful to see such a well preserved church and village. Thank you for the tour, it is a place I would love to visit one day.

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    1. I hope you have the opportunity to go to Hambleden one day. It's off the beaten track, but well worth the visit once you get there down a country lane.

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  8. The village could be a film set - it's so pretty! Jx

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    1. The place is perfect for those quintessentially English village scenes :)

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  9. It would be interesting to visit a church so rich in history and the interior so beautifully designed. A wonderful town so well preserved. Love the river view too.

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    1. Thank you Nancy for visiting. I'm glad you found this blog post interesting.

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  10. Such a charming village with quintessential elements of England. Very interesting tour of the church...were the illegitimate children of the monarch, any monarch, usually honored and was the relationship usually recognized and known?

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    1. I think that an illegitimate child would not be directly honoured, but instead might receive favour through unofficial patronage. Families and individuals would find favour or otherwise in those dangerous Tudor times. The person mentioned here was born into a wealthy family. Elizabeth I gave patronage to some Boleyn relatives and for this reason historians have come to the conclusion that her aunt Mary Boleyn's son was the son of Henry VIII. Something further to research - thank you for the question. Emanuel Scrope, Earl of Sunderland, inherited the manor at Hambleden through the already wealthy Scrope family. I'm glad you enjoyed the tour of Hambleden.

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    2. P.S. I shall have to watch the DVD The Other Boleyn Girl which I have on my shelf. (I read the book a long time ago). It will be interesting to watch the DVD again.

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  11. Visited Henley-on-Thames many years ago now and loved what we saw.
    Your photo's are so nice to see.

    Good wishes for this new month of March

    All the best Jan

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    1. The river and its activities play an important part in making Henley-on-Thames popular. I'm glad you enjoyed your visit. Thank you for your good wishes. All the best to you too.

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  12. Hello Linda, a beautiful header by the way. I really enjoyed having a look around at this delightful village. Those buildings are so full of character as well as the surrounding countryside. A very peaceful feel. Thanks for all those photos inside the churches too - amazingly maintained and quite spectacular architecture. Cheers now :D)

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    1. Thank you Sue for your visit. Glad you enjoyed this blog post. All the best, Linda :)

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  13. Thanks for the tour. This is a lovely church and village, I imagine a very nice place to relax and enjoy the day.

    Diana

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    1. Thank you Diana for visiting. We did enjoy going back to Hambleden.

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  14. I love visiting churches when we travel. This one is beautiful. What an amazing ceiling. Then the walk in the village is beautiful also. So good to see you walking about.

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    1. It was good to get and about and we had mostly dry weather. That was a bonus.

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  15. I've never been to Hambleden a and it's not that far away! It certainly looks a delight, thanks for sharing your photos,

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    1. I hope you get to Hambleden. It's rather tucked away down a country lane, but worth the visit to the village where there's good parking. You could walk to Hambleden Lock. The footpath to the river is on the secondary road before you turn off to the village.

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