Pangbourne: ancient village full of character.
Records of the village of Pangbourne exist back to 844 and much of its history dates back to Norman times. The Roman road from Silchester to Dorchester-on-Thames runs through the parish, where many Roman artefacts and coins have been discovered.
Although by status a village, Pangbourne boasts a good number of amenities, sports and leisure clubs, a railway station and a college.
What To Do And See
The village itself is full of character, with a number of small shops, pubs and cafes, an ideal place to while away some time.
Just a hop across Whitchurch Bridge or the weir of Whitchurch Lock lies Whitchurch: the River Pang flows through the centre of the village before joining the River Thames between the lock and the toll bridge on the road to Whitchurch. There was originally a ferry, followed by a series of wooden bridges but the present iron structure was put up in 1901.
If you fancy a walk, the riverside is easily accessible and the water meadows, which are owned and maintained by the parish council, are a popular spot for a picnic or a stroll.
Kenneth Grahame, author of The Wind in the Willows, retired to Church Cottage in Pangbourne and died there in 1932. The swan public house also has literary connection, mentioned in Jerome K. Jerome's Three Men in a Boat.
Buried in the churchyard lies Lord Nelson's favourite bo'sun, Tom Carter, who lived in Pangbourne in the 18th century.
North-west of the town are the wildlife gardens of Beale Park, with attractions that include a deer park, pets area, and herb and water gardens.
An unusual attraction at Stoke Row, across the road from St John The Evangelist Church, is The Maharajah's Well, which was commissioned by the Maharajah of Benares and sunk in 1863 as a mark of respect for a similar well sunk in India by local resident Edward Anderdon Reade.
Henley on Thames with historic buildings, rowing history and its late eighteenth century bridge spanning the River Thames is about 20km (~7.5 miles) away, and Reading lies only 12km (~5 miles) south-east of the village.
How to get there
The village lies in Berkshire, 8km along the RiverThames from Reading and directly across the river from the smaller Oxfordshire village of Whitchurch-on-Thames. From junction 12 of the M4 take the A4 in the direction of Newbury. At the second roundabout take the A340 in the direction of Pangbourne and follow the road for 6km to Pangbourne.
Pangbourne Website: http://www.pangbourne-on-thames.com
The History of Pangbourne Website: http://www.berkshirehistory.com/villages/pangbourne.html