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Mapledurham Church and House.JPG
Mapledurham Church and House, seen from the Watermill
Mapledurham is located in Oxfordshire
 Mapledurham shown within Oxfordshire
Population 280 (2001 census)[1]
OS grid reference SU6776
Civil parish Mapledurham
District South Oxfordshire
Shire county Oxfordshire
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Reading
Postcode district RG4
Dialling code 01491
Police Thames Valley
Fire Oxfordshire
Ambulance South Central
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament Henley
List of places

Coordinates: 51°29′06″N 1°02′17″W / 51.485°N 1.038°W / 51.485; -1.038

Mapledurham is a small village, civil parish and country estate beside the River Thames in southern Oxfordshire. The village also lends its name to the adjoining Mapledurham electoral ward of the Borough of Reading, although this is actually a subdivision of that town's suburb of Caversham and in the county of Berkshire.[2][3]

Mapledurham Watermill from the lawns of Maplehurham House
The River Thames, looking upstream from the village
Mapledurham Weir, looking across river from village to lock


The village is on the north bank of the River Thames about 3.5 miles (5.6 km) northwest of Reading. The only road access is by a narrow and steep lane from Trench Green on the road between Caversham and Goring-on-Thames. Despite the fact that Mapledurham village is closer, as the crow flies, to central Reading than some of that town's suburbs, it remains a remote and rural location.[2]

The Church of England parish church of St. Margaret is mainly 14th and 15th century, and was restored in 1863 by the Gothic Revival architect William Butterfield.[4] Mapledurham Watermill is 16th and 17th century[5] and is the last operational watermill on the Thames. Mapledurham House, the country house that is the headquarters of the Mapledurham estate, is one of the largest Elizabethan houses in Oxfordshire[6]

Mapledurham Lock is on the opposite bank of the river, by the Berkshire village of Purley-on-Thames. Although the weir stretches across the river between the two villages, no access is possible across it and, in the absence of a boat, journeys between the two villages require a lengthy detour via Caversham or Whitchurch-on-Thames.

Because of its picturesque situation, and lack of through traffic, Mapledurham has been used as a set for several films, most notably the 1976 film of The Eagle Has Landed. The village, house and mill form something of a local tourist attraction, and on summer weekends the village can be reached by a boat service from Reading.[7][8]

Civil Parish[edit]

The civil parish of Mapledurham covers a considerably larger area than the village itself, and includes the even smaller settlements of Trench Green and Chazey Heath in the Chiltern Hills above the village. In the 2001 census it had a population of 280 in 112 households.[1][2]

For local government purposes the civil parish forms part of the district of South Oxfordshire within the county of Oxfordshire. It is within the Henley constituency of the United Kingdom Parliament, and the South East England constituency of the European Parliament.[9][10]


The Mapledurham estate owns much of the village and parish. It also includes the Mapledurham Watermill, a historic and still operational watermill on the River Thames, and Mapledurham House, an Elizabethan stately home.

The estate belongs to the family of John "Jack" Eyston. At one time the estate included several farms, but farming has now been consolidated on a single farm. The estate has strongly diversified into leisure activities, and includes two golf courses and several holiday cottages. Additionally the house, watermill and surrounding grounds are opened to the public on weekend and bank holiday afternoons from April to September.[7][11]


  1. ^ a b "Neighbourhood Statistics - Mapledurham CP". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 2007-05-01. 
  2. ^ a b c Explorer Map 159 - Reading (Map). Ordnance Survey. 2006. 
  3. ^ "RBC Wards 2004 A4" (PDF). Reading Borough Council. Retrieved 2009-11-14. 
  4. ^ Sherwood & Pevsner, 1974, page 693-694
  5. ^ Sherwood & Pevsner, 1974, page 697
  6. ^ Sherwood & Pevsner, 1974, page 695-697
  7. ^ a b "Film Locations". BBC. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  8. ^ "Boat service from Reading to Mapledurham". Thames River Cruises. Retrieved 2007-04-29. 
  9. ^ "Parishes". South Oxfordshire District Council. Retrieved 2009-11-13. 
  10. ^ "Election Maps". Ordnance Survey. Retrieved 2009-11-13. 
  11. ^ "Opening times, directions and prices". Mapledurham Estate. Retrieved 2007-04-29. 


External links[edit]