Sonning Common

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Coordinates: 51°30′43″N 0°58′37″W / 51.512°N 0.977°W / 51.512; -0.977

Sonning Common
Sonning Common is located in Oxfordshire
Sonning Common
Sonning Common
 Sonning Common shown within Oxfordshire
Population 3,778 (2001 census)[1]
OS grid reference SU7180
Civil parish Sonning Common
District South Oxfordshire
Shire county Oxfordshire
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town READING
Postcode district RG4
Dialling code 0118
Police Thames Valley
Fire Oxfordshire
Ambulance South Central
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament Henley constituency
Website Sonning Common Parish
List of places

Sonning Common is a village and civil parish in the Chiltern Hills 3.5 miles (5.6 km) west of Henley-on-Thames in South Oxfordshire. It is on the B481 road between Reading, Berkshire to the south and Nettlebed to the north.


During the English Civil Wars the village itself did not exist: its present site was merely an area of open land on the route between Reading – occupied alternately by the Parliamentarians and Royalists – and Oxford, which was the King's headquarters.[2] In 1647 after the end of the first civil war, the King was imprisoned at nearby Caversham House (now the location of BBC Monitoring in Caversham); however he was allowed out under escort to play bowls at an inn (latterly called "The King Charles Head") near Cane End, approximately one mile west of Sonning Common.[3][4] His route between these places would have brought him close to the present-day village.

The site of the village has been called "Sonning Common" since at least the 1640s, long before any fixed settlement existed. The name is literal, referring to its originally being the common grazing land belonging to Sonning Parish, although it should be noted that both places name's have previously been spelt 'Sunning' as seen on maps such as that of the A4 road from 1786.[2]


Churches are Christ the King (Church of England),[5] Saint Michael's (Roman Catholic),[6] and Sonning Common Free Church.


Sonning Common has a primary school,[7] while Chiltern Edge School[8] is a secondary school in the village. Gillotts School, Henley-on-Thames, also serves the area.[citation needed]


Sonning Common has three public houses: the Bird In Hand, the Butchers Arms[9] and the Hare and Hounds.

It has health walks see Sonning_Common_Health_Walks

It also has a Herb Farm (with Saxon maze), Thames Valley Gymnastics Club and a health centre.[10] Two neighbouring parishes, Kidmore End and Rotherfield Peppard, have their war memorial halls on the parish boundaries. Sonning Common also has a duck pond with a duck-house in the middle called "Duckingham Palace",[11] and a Millennium Green (a large area of open public land), which lies at the southern end of the village between Kennylands Road and Peppard Road.

...:"But I don't want to go via Quiet Lane"

The main route through the village is Peppard Road (the B481), which runs between Reading and Nettlebed. Wood Lane turns off this, and is where most of the village's shops and health centre are. It has an Indian restaurant,[12] a Chinese take-away, fish and chip shop, sandwich shop, post office, florist,[13] supermarkets, bank, petrol station, dental practice[14] and several other shops. The village hall is also in the middle of Wood Lane.

The area is surrounded by mainly beech woodland and countryside, which is popular for walks and picnics. Sonning Common is where the Health Walks project was started. It was set up by Dr William Bird, a former GP in the village. It aims to improve people's fitness, both in body and mind, by encouraging them to use their local countryside for walking. Together with Val Lunn, a local fitness instructor, Dr William Bird promoted the project which has now grown into a very successful scheme that has been adopted nationwide, and even internationally.[15]

The village has an amateur dramatic group, The Chiltern Players, that was formed in 1974.

The village has three children's parks, at Baskerville Road, Churchill Crescent and Lea Road park ( which is near Sonning Common Primary School ) .

The Sonning Common Magazine is a not-for-profit community magazine delivered to 1,850 addresses in the village every other month. The magazine is also available online. [16]


  1. ^ "Area: Sonning Common CP (Parish): Parish Headcounts". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 21 March 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "Civil War". Sonning Common Parish. Retrieved 2013-04-09. 
  3. ^ "Village's part in civil war". Henley Standard. 2009-05-26. Retrieved 2009-05-26. 
  4. ^ The pub is at Collins End, between Cane End and Goring Heath. By 2008 it was closed and up for sale. Accessed 28 August 2009.
  5. ^ A Church Near You. "Christ the King, Sonning Common". A Church Near You. Retrieved 2013-04-09. 
  6. ^ "St Michael's Catholic Church". Retrieved 2013-04-09. 
  7. ^ Sonning Common Primary School
  8. ^ "Chiltern Edge Secondary School". Retrieved 2013-04-09. 
  9. ^ The Butchers Arms
  10. ^ "Sonning Common Health Centre". Sonning Common Health Centre. 2013-03-26. Retrieved 2013-04-09. 
  11. ^ "Sonning Common Magazine June July 2013". 2013-06-01. Retrieved 2014-04-18. 
  12. ^ "Tandoori Connoisseur restaurant". Retrieved 2013-04-09. 
  13. ^ Brambles Floristry
  14. ^ "Wood Lane Dentistry". Wood Lane Dentistry. 1969-09-08. Retrieved 2013-04-09. 
  15. ^ "Sonning Common Health Walks". Sonning Common Health Walks. Retrieved 2013-04-09. 
  16. ^ "Sonning Common Magazine". Sonning Common Magazine. Retrieved 2013-04-09.