Powerflush nearby to Henley-on-Thames
Henley-on-Thames (listen to audio speaker icon) HEN-lee) is a town and civil parish in Oxfordshire, England, 9 miles (14 kilometers) northeast of Reading, 7 miles (11 kilometers) west of Maidenhead, 23 miles (37 kilometers) southeast of Oxford, and 37 miles (60 kilometers) west of London (by road), near the tripoint of Oxfordshire, Berkshire, and Buckinghamshire. The population was 11,619 according to the 2011 Census.
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People have lived in Henley since the 2nd century as part of the Romano-British period, according to archaeological evidence.
The first mention of Henley as a significant settlement dates from 1179, when King Henry II “bought land for the making of buildings.” In 1199, King John granted Robert Harcourt the manor of Benson as well as the town and manor of Henley. The first mention of a church in Henley is in 1204. The town received a tax for street paving in 1205 and the bridge is first mentioned in 1234. Henley is described as a hamlet of Benson with a chapel in 1278. By the end of the 13th century, the street plan was most likely established. It was granted as a demesne of the crown to John de Molyns in 1337, and his family held it for about 250 years.
The current Thursday market is thought to have been granted by a charter granted by King John. A market was undoubtedly present by 1269; however, jurors at the 1284 assize stated that they did not know under what warrant the Earl of Cornwall held a market and fair in the town of Henley. Henry VI granted the existing Corpus Christi fair a charter. Henley lost 60% of its population during the 14th-century Black Death pandemic that swept through England. In 1485, “Henley up a Tamys” was a variation on the name.
By the early 16th century, the town had grown along the west bank of the Thames, from Friday Street in the south to the Manor, now Phyllis Court, in the north, and included Hart Street and New Street. It included Bell Street and the Market Place to the west. The titles “mayor” and “burgess” were granted by Henry VIII, and the town was incorporated in 1568 in the name of the warden, portreeves, burgesses, and commonalty. The original charter was issued by Elizabeth I, but it was replaced in 1722 by one issued by George I.
During the Civil War, Henley suffered at the hands of both sides. Later, on his march to London in 1688, William III stopped at the nearby recently rebuilt Fawley Court and received a deputation from the Lords. The town’s prosperity in the 17th and 18th centuries was due to glass and malt manufacturing, as well as trade in corn and wool. Henley-on-Thames supplied timber and grain to London. In 1790, a workhouse for 150 people was built on West Hill in Henley, and it was later expanded to accommodate 250 people as the Henley Poor Law Union workhouse.
Prior to 1974, Henley was a municipal borough with a Borough Council made up of twelve Councillors and four Aldermen and presided over by a Mayor. In 1972, the Local Government Act resulted in the reorganization of local government. Henley was incorporated into Wallingford District Council, which was later renamed South Oxfordshire District Council. The borough council was replaced by a town council, but the mayor’s position was kept.