Overlooking the River Thames and Marlow
Marlow shown within Buckinghamshire
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|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
Marlow (historically Great Marlow or Chipping Marlow) is a town and civil parish within Wycombe district in south Buckinghamshire, England. It is located on the River Thames, 4 miles (6.5 km) south-southwest of High Wycombe, 5 miles (8 km) west-northwest of Maidenhead and 33 miles (53 km) west of central London.
From Norman times the manor, parish and later borough was formally known as Great Marlow, distinguishing it from Little Marlow. The ancient parish was large, including rural areas north and west of the town. In 1896 the civil parish of Great Marlow, created in the 19th century from the ancient parish, was divided into Great Marlow Urban District (the town) and Great Marlow civil parish (the rural areas). In 1897 the urban district was renamed Marlow Urban District, and the town has been known simply as Marlow.
Magna Britannia includes the following entry for Marlow: "The manor of Marlow, which had belonged to the Earls of Mercia, was given by William the Conqueror, to his Queen Matilda. Henry the First, bestowed it on his natural son, Robert de Melhent, afterwards Earl of Gloucester, from whom it passed, with that title, to the Clares and Despencers, and from the latter, by female heirs, to the Beauchamps and Nevilles, Earls of Warwick. It continued in the crown from the time of Richard III's marriage with Anne Neville, until Queen Mary granted it to William Lord Paget, in whose family it continued more than a century; after which, it passed, by purchase, to Sir Humphrey Winch, in 1670; to Lord Falkland in 1686; to Sir James Etheridge in 1690; to Sir John Guise in 1718; and to Sir William Clayton in 1736. It is now the property of Sir William Clayton bart. a descendant of the last purchaser".
Marlow owed its importance to its location on the River Thames, where the road from Reading to High Wycombe crosses the river. It had its own market by 1227 (hence the name Chipping Marlow), although the market lapsed before 1600. From 1301 to 1307 the town had its own Member of Parliament, and it returned two members from 1624 to 1867.
Marlow is adjoined by Marlow Bottom, a mile to the north. Little Marlow is nearby to the east along the A4155 Little Marlow Road and Bourne End is further along the same road. To the south across the Thames are Bisham (home of Bisham Abbey) and Cookham Dean, both in Berkshire,
There has been a bridge over the Thames at Marlow since the reign of King Edward III The current bridge is a suspension bridge, designed by William Tierney Clark in 1832, and was a prototype for the much larger Széchenyi Chain Bridge across the River Danube in Budapest.
The Junior Wing of the Royal Military College, now based at Sandhurst on the border between Berkshire and Surrey, was once based at Remnantz in West Street - it was a mansion built in the early 18th century and served as the junior section of the college from 1801 until 1812. The weather vane on the building features a man firing a cannon, which possibly dates from that period. The building is now owned by the Bosley family.
The Hand & Flowers, the first gastropub to hold two Michelin stars is located on West Street. Like many local pubs, it serves the award-winning beers brewed locally in Marlow Bottom by the Rebellion Beer Company.
Marlow is twinned with
Marlow is served by a railway station which is the terminus of a single-track branch line from Maidenhead. The train service is known as the Marlow Donkey, which was the nickname given to the steam locomotives that once operated on the line. There is also a pub with the same name, located close to the railway station.
Education is provided by several schools, including:
- Great Marlow School (11-18)
- Sir William Borlase's Grammar School (11-18)
- Burford School (4-11)
- Danesfield School (4-11)
- Foxes Piece School (4-11)
- Holy Trinity Church of England School (7-11)
- Marlow Church of England Infant School (4-7)
- Spinfield School (4-11)
- St Peter's Catholic Primary School (4-11)
Marlow Rowing Club, founded in 1871, is one of Britain's premier rowing clubs and has produced many Olympic oarsmen including Sir Steve Redgrave. The club is based by Marlow Bridge and exercises above and below the lock. Olympic lightweight men's double sculls gold-medallist at Beijing 2008 Zac Purchase is a former member of Marlow Rowing Club.
Marlow Rugby Club play at Riverwoods Drive. They were founded in 1947 and run a range of senior, youth and mini rugby teams. The England Rugby team had their training base at Marlow RFC until the late nineties before they moved to nearby Bisham Abbey.
There are also two cricket clubs (Marlow CC and Marlow Park CC), hockey club and tennis club in Pound Lane. Both cricket clubs run a variety of sides, with the first team playing in the top divisions of the Morrant Thames Valley Cricket League.
There are two regattas associated with Marlow; the Marlow Town Regatta and Marlow International Regatta. Earliest records indicate a regatta took place annually on the River Thames in Marlow from 1855. The latter transferred to the purpose built Dorney Lake, owned by Eton College, in 2003. Marlow still hosts its Original River Regatta which takes place annually in June.
Marlow is the location of Marlow Lock, originating from the 14th century.
Marlow FM 97.5
Marlow FM is a local community radio station that launched on FM on 11 May 2011. It broadcasts to Marlow and the surrounding areas on 97.5FM, and also streams over the internet. providing travel and news updates to the local area.
Notable current or former residents have included:
- Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Shelley moved into a house in West Street in 1816. He composed The Revolt of Islam there in 1817, while Mary worked on Frankenstein. Thomas Love Peacock, who had suggested Shelley move to the town, wrote his novel Nightmare Abbey (1818) at a nearby house.
- T. S. Eliot lived in West Street during the First World War.
- Jerome K. Jerome wrote part of Three Men in a Boat at a local pub, the Two Brewers:
- Dr William Battie, an eminent eighteenth century physician specialising in mental illness, built and lived in Court Garden House from 1758 until his death in 1776. Local folklore has it that he forgot to include a staircase to the first floor, so it had to be added later. The expression "batty" is said to originate from his work with the mentally ill.[by whom?] In 1789 his daughter sold the house to Richard Davenport, High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire, who lived there for 10 years, during which, Court Garden was described in Boydells History of the River Thames (1793), as "a fine Georgian house standing on a gentle eminence, a lawn of some extent descending gradually from it to the river". In 1926 the estate was saved for the people of Marlow, largely due to the efforts of local resident and Crimean War veteran General George Higginson, after whom Higginson Park is named.
- Local tradition has it that Jane Seymour lived at Seymour Court, about a mile north of Marlow, although it has never been proven. Court Garden (before the house was built) was reputedly where Henry VIII courted her. A conference room at the Court Garden Leisure Complex is named in her honour.
- More recently the town (actually Marlow Bottom) has been the home of quintuple Olympic gold medallist rower Steve Redgrave, the greatest Olympian Britain has produced in recent times. After striking gold at Sydney 2000, he became Britain's only athlete ever to have won Gold Medals at five consecutive Olympic Games. The Marlow Town Park, Higginson Park, features a bronze statue of Sir Steven looking across the river towards the location of the finishing line of the Marlow Town Regatta. There is also a road, Redgrave Place, adjoining from Newtown Road to commemorate the Olympic medallist.
- The pop singer Robbie Williams has recently bought a house on the river in Bisham.
- The Michelin star chef Heston Blumenthal, owner of The Fat Duck in Bray, Berkshire (voted Best Restaurant in the World in 2005) lives in Marlow.
- Television and radio presenter Paul Ross, brother of Jonathan Ross, also lives in Marlow, having moved there after filming Celebrity Fit Club at nearby Bisham Abbey.
- Former Japanese Formula One racing driver Takuma Sato was a Marlow resident some time ago
- Former England scrum-half and World Cup-winner Matt Dawson spent his childhood in Marlow and went to a local primary school.
- Former England goalkeeper David Seaman owns a property in Marlow.
- Peter Firth, who plays Sir Harry Pearce in BBC MI5 drama Spooks is a Marlow resident
- Andrew Strauss, the current England cricket captain, moved to Marlow with his family in 2010
- Television presenter and naturalist Steve Backshall lives in Marlow
- neighbourhood Statistics 2001 Census
- Watts, Victor, ed. (2010), "Marlow", The Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-Names, Cambridge University Press
- William Page (editor) (1925). "Parishes: Great Marlow". A History of the County of Buckingham: Volume 3. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 14 July 2011.
- Mills, A D, Dictionary of English Place-Names, Oxford University Press (1991)
- Great Marlow as described in "Magna Britannia", 1806
- Christopher Winn: I Never Knew That about the Thames (London: Ebury Press, 2010), p. 108.
- Town Tour Marlow Society
- Duncan, Fiona (16 November 2010). "The Hand and Flowers, Marlow: hotel review". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 6 February 2012.
- Marlow Town Twinning Association
- "British towns twinned with French towns". Archant Community Media Ltd. Retrieved 2013-07-11.
- The Marlovian, September 2009
- Marlow FM
- Christopher Winn: I Never Knew That about the Thames (London: Ebury Press), p. 110.
- Christopher Winn: I Never Knew... p. 110.
- Christopher Winn: I Never Knew... p. 111.
- The Marlow Society
- UK & Ireland Genealogy/
- Wycombe District Council
- British History Online
- LBC Radio
- "Me and my school photo: Rugby star Matt Dawson". Daily Mail. 22 May 2009.
- Crick, Andy (11 March 2010). "Seaman's wife divorces him". The Sun. Retrieved 2012-02-19.
- MyMarlow.co.uk: Community website with event listings, pub and restaurant reviews. A guide to living in and visiting the town.
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