Pangbourne Village Centre
Pangbourne shown within Berkshire
|OS grid reference|
|Unitary authority||West Berkshire|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
|UK Parliament||Reading West|
Pangbourne is located some 5 miles (8.0 km) from Reading and 20 miles (32 km) from Oxford on the River Thames and is directly across the river from the smaller Oxfordshire village of Whitchurch-on-Thames. The two villages of Pangbourne and Whitchurch are connected by both Whitchurch Bridge and by the weir of Whitchurch Lock.
Pangbourne railway station, on the Reading to Oxford railway line, serves both villages. The River Pang also flows through the centre of Pangbourne village before joining the River Thames between the lock and bridge.
Pangbourne is a civil parish with an elected parish council. The parish covers the immediate area around the village, together with a rural area to the south-west. This rural area contains no other significant settlements, but is the location of Pangbourne College.
The parish shares boundaries with the Berkshire parishes of Purley-on-Thames, Tidmarsh with Sulham, Theale, Englefield, Bradfield and Basildon. Along the River Thames to the north, there is also a boundary with the Oxfordshire parish of Whitchurch-on-Thames.
The parish falls within the area of the unitary authority of West Berkshire. Both the parish council and the unitary authority are responsible for different aspects of local government. Pangbourne forms part of the Reading West parliamentary constituency.
Pangbourne's name is recorded from 844 as Anglo-Saxon Pegingaburnan (dative case), which means "the stream of the people of [a man called] Pǣga". This name was shortened to make the name of the River Pang.
In Norman times, the manor was given to Reading Abbey and the manor house - known as Bere Court - became the Abbot's Summer residence. The last abbot, Hugh Cook Faringdon, was arrested there in 1539 and subsequently executed in Reading. The manor was later purchased by Sir John Davis, the Elizabethan mathematician and the Earl of Essex' fellow-conspirator. His monument is in the parish church which, unusually, is dedicated to Saint James the Less. Other monuments and hatchments there are mostly to the Breedon family, the first of whom bought the manor in 1671. He was High Sheriff of Berkshire and brother of the Governor of Arcadia and Nova Scotia, whose son later succeeded him. The family produced a number of sheriffs and MPs for Berkshire, as well as doctors and rectors of the parish.
Kenneth Grahame, author of The Wind in the Willows, retired to Church Cottage in Pangbourne. He died there in 1932. E. H. Shepherd's famous illustrations of his book are said to have been inspired by the Thameside landscape there.
The Falkland Islands Memorial Chapel at Pangbourne College was opened by Queen Elizabeth in March 2000. It was built to commemorate the lives and sacrifice of all those who died during the Falklands War of 1982, and the courage of those who served with them to protect the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands. The Queen revisited the Memorial Chapel in 2007 to mark the 25th anniversary of the Falklands conflict.
At the north-west of the village is wildlife gardens Beale Park.
Pangbourne and District Silver Band 
The history of the Pangbourne Band began in 1893 when a fife and drum band used to rehearse in a shed behind the water mill, but when the First World War broke out the band broke up, re-forming in 1919 after the Armistice. Regular concerts were held from then until the outbreak of the Second World War, when many of the bandsmen served in the Armed Forces and the band again broke up and the instruments were held in storage.
In 1962, the late Mr Henry Fuller started a brass group in the village, giving lessons to six children at his home. Local musicians became involved when the old instruments were recovered from storage, and the band was established as a full-size contesting brass band within a few years.
In 2009 a Youth Band was started, although in 2011 this was re-branded as the Pangbourne All-Comers' Band, including adults as well as children.
- Ordnance Survey (2006). OS Explorer Map 159 - Reading. ISBN 0-319-23730-3.
- "Election Maps". Ordnance Survey. Retrieved 2008-02-27.
- "Royal Berkshire History: Pangbourne". Nash Ford Publishing. 2004. Retrieved 2009-04-25.
- "The Falklands Island Memorial Chapel". The Trustees of the Falkland Island Memorial Chapel Trust. Retrieved 2009-04-25.
Amy's View By David Hare is set in Pangbourne
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