Henley. Steel engraving. From Eighty Picturesque Views of the Thames and Medway.

Text accompanying the engraving

Henley, denominated, by way of distinction, Henley-on-Thames, is considered by antiquarians to be the most ancient town in the county of Oxford. Dr. Plot conjectures that it was the capital of the Ancalites, who revolted to Caesar. The church is a spacious and handsome gothic structure: its embattled tower is said to have been erected at the expense of cardinal Wolsey. The situation of the town is highly picturesque, and, from its being a great thoroughfare, is very lively. Its neatness and salubrity are inviting to strangers, and lovers of fishing may here find ample amusement. Its population is 3,618. The steep chalk-hill, on the London side of the bridge, has been for many years formidable to the traveller: stage-passengers generally alight, and walk to the top of it. The labour is amply compensated by the retrospective glances they occasionally take at the valley below, which presents such a variety of natural beauties as cannot often be found in any country of the world. This eminence forms a part of a ridge of hills which extends from opposite Henley through the southern part of Buckinghamshire, and terminates at Tring in Hertfordshire, consisting mostly of chalk. These hills give the name to the Chiltern hundreds; Chilt, in the Saxon tongue, meaning chalk. The nominal office of steward of these hundreds is made use of for the convenience of those members of Parliament who wish to vacate their seats in the house. A visit to Park-place, now the property of the Maitland family, and once the residence of George IV, when prince of Wales, will be found un-commonly gratifying, not only for its extensive woods, lawns, and superb views, but for the taste displayed in the mansion and pleasure grounds, wherein are seen some interesting ruins of a druidical temple, found in the island of Jersey, and transported hither at a great expense. [58]

Related Material

Text and formatting by George P. Landow. [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the University of California Library and the Internet Archive and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite it in a print one.]


Fearnside, W. G. Eighty Picturesque Views of the Thames and Medway, Engraved on Steel by the First Artists. London: Black and Armstrong, [n.d. after 1837]. Internet Archive version of a copy in the University of California at Berkley Library. Web. 30 March 2012.

Last modified 30 April 2012