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Goring mill and parish church from the bridge
Goring-on-Thames is located in Oxfordshire
Location within Oxfordshire
Area9.61 km2 (3.71 sq mi)
Population3,187 (2011 census)[1]
• Density332/km2 (860/sq mi)
OS grid referenceSU6080
Civil parish
  • Goring-on-Thames
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Historic countyOxfordshire
Post townReading
Postcode districtRG8
Dialling code01491
PoliceThames Valley
AmbulanceSouth Central
UK Parliament
WebsiteGoring Parish Council
List of places
51°31′23″N 1°08′06″W / 51.523°N 1.135°W / 51.523; -1.135Coordinates: 51°31′23″N 1°08′06″W / 51.523°N 1.135°W / 51.523; -1.135

Goring-on-Thames (or Goring) is a village and civil parish on the River Thames in South Oxfordshire, England, about 5.5 miles (8.9 km) south of Wallingford and 8 miles (13 km) north-west of Reading. The population of 3,187 in the 2011 Census was estimated at 3,335 in 2019.[2] Goring & Streatley railway station is on the main OxfordLondon line. Most land is farmland, with woodland on the Goring Gap outcrop of the Chiltern Hills. Its riverside plain encloses the residential area, including a high street with shops, pubs and restaurants. Nearby are the village churches – one dedicated to St Thomas Becket has a nave built within 50 years of the saint's death, in the early 13th century, and a later bell tower. Goring faces the smaller Streatley across the Thames. The two are linked by Goring and Streatley Bridge.


Goring (right) at the end of the nineteenth century

Goring is on the left bank of the River Thames in the Goring Gap between the Berkshire Downs and Chiltern Hills. It lies about 8 miles (13 km) north-west of Reading and 16 miles (26 km) south of Oxford. Across the river is the Berkshire village of Streatley, often considered a twin village. They are linked by Goring and Streatley Bridge and its adjacent lock and weir. The Thames Path, Icknield Way and the Ridgeway cross the Thames at Goring. The Great Western Main Line serves Goring & Streatley railway station with Great Western Railway trains running between London Paddington, Reading and Didcot.

Early history[edit]

The name Goring first appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Garinges, then as Garingies in a charter once held in the British Museum. It translates as "Gara's people".[3]

Religious sites[edit]

Church of St Thomas of Canterbury

The Church of England parish church of St Thomas of Canterbury displays Norman architecture. It was built early in the 12th century,[4] with the bell-stage of the bell tower added in the 15th century.[4] This has a ring of eight bells,[5] one dating from 1290. The wood for the rood screen was taken from HMS Thunderer (1783), one of Nelson's fleet at Trafalgar.[6] A church hall was added in 1901.[7] The Anglican Churches of Goring, Streatley and South Stoke form a united benefice.[8]

A priory of Augustinian nuns was built late in the 12th century with its own priory church adjoining St Thomas's,[4] which survived until the early 16th-century Dissolution of the Monasteries[9] and was then demolished. The foundations of the priory church, cloister, dormitory, vestry, chapter house and parlour were excavated in 1892.[7]

Goring Free Church belongs to the Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion. The congregation was founded in 1788 and its first chapel built in 1793.[10] At its centenary in 1893, a new church building was added[7] and the original chapel converted into a church hall.[10] It holds two Sunday services.[11]

The Catholic Church of Our Lady and St John the Apostle was designed by the architect William Ravenscroft and built in 1898.[7] It now forms a single parish with the Roman Catholic Church of Christ the King in Woodcote.[12]


Flint House, on a hill is a large flint cobblestone house in a Tudor style converted partly to offices and used by police forces nationally for the purpose of rehabilitation.[13]

Goring United Football Club plays in the Reading Football League.[14] Goring-on-Thames Cricket Club, founded in 1876,[15] has two teams in the Berkshire Cricket League.[16] Goring has a lawn tennis club with teams that play in two local leagues.[17] Goring and Streatley Golf Club is located in adjoining Streatley.

Goring on Thames Decorative and Fine Arts Society, founded in 1987, belongs to the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies.[18] Goring has a Women's Institute.[19]

The local bus service between Goring and Wallingford is run by the Goring-based community interest company Going Forward Buses, established in December 2016.


Oxfordshire Village of the Year 2009[edit]

On 10 July 2009, Goring was named Oxfordshire's Village of the Year, ahead of 11 other villages and succeeding Woodcote.[20] The £1000 prize was put towards the village's hydro-electric project to generate electricity from the River Thames.[21] The competition considered the depth of infrastructure and activity in the village and at Goring's £1 million hydro-electric plans.

Calor success[edit]

Goring-on-Thames was the winner in the Sustainability and Communications category and the Overall Regional Winner of the 2011 Calor Village of the Year regional heat for South England.[22]

Britain in Bloom[edit]

Goring was a finalist in the small towns category of the Britain in Bloom contest in 2019.

Notable residents[edit]

In the summer of 1893, Oscar Wilde stayed at Ferry House in Goring with Lord Alfred Douglas. While there, Wilde began writing his play An Ideal Husband, which includes a main character named Lord Goring.

An enlarged Ferry Cottage became the retirement home of Sir Arthur Harris, wartime leader of RAF Bomber Command, from 1953 until his death in 1984.[23] He was buried in Burntwood Cemetery in Goring.[24]

The singer George Michael lived at Mill Cottage close to the river in his later years. He was found dead there at the age of 53 in the early hours of 25 December 2016.[25]

In order of birth:

Freedom of the parish[edit]

The privilege of Freedom of the Parish of Goring on Thames has been awarded to:

  • Stephanie Bridle, 16 October 2017, for work as a parish councillor[27]
  • Janet Hurst: 12 April 2020, for work on the Britain in Bloom competition and Goring Gap Local History Society[28]

Nearby places[edit]

Twin towns[edit]


  1. ^ Key Statistics: Dwellings; Quick Statistics: Population Density; Physical Environment: Land Use Survey 2005
  2. ^ City Population. Retrieved 6 January 2021.
  3. ^ Eilert Ekwall, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-names, p. 201.
  4. ^ a b c Sherwood & Pevsner, 1974, p. 614.
  5. ^ The Oxford Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers, Reading Branch: Goring-on-Thames Archived 6 September 2012 at archive.today
  6. ^ Christopher Winn: I Never Knew That about the Thames (London: Ebury Press, 2010), p. 77.
  7. ^ a b c d Sherwood & Pevsner, 1974, p. 615.
  8. ^ Services. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  9. ^ Page, 1907, pp. 103–104.
  10. ^ a b "Goring Free Church: Our History".
  11. ^ Service times. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  12. ^ "Our Lady & St John in Goring-on-Thames and of Christ the King in Woodcote". ourladyandstjohngoring.org.uk.
  13. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1059528)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 30 November 2014. Flint House – Grade II listing.
  14. ^ "Goring United Football Club: Saturday 1st team – Division 1". Archived from the original on 13 July 2011. Retrieved 18 January 2010.
  15. ^ "GardinersWorld: Our History". Archived from the original on 2 August 2009.
  16. ^ "Berkshire Cricket League Resources and Information". www.berkshirecricketleague.com. Archived from the original on 4 January 2012.
  17. ^ "Goring Tennis Club". Goring Tennis Club.
  18. ^ Goring on Thames Decorative and Fine Arts Society
  19. ^ "Oxfordshire Federation of Women's Institutes". Archived from the original on 7 September 2003. Retrieved 18 January 2010.
  20. ^ "Goring named Village of the Year". 10 July 2009 – via news.bbc.co.uk.
  21. ^ Goring & Streatley Sustainability Group.
  22. ^ Goring on Thames Celebrates Regional Success. Village wins through for South England in national competition Archived 3 January 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ Christopher Winn: I Never Knew..., p. 78.
  24. ^ "Grave Sir Arthur Harris - Goring - TracesOfWar.com". www.tracesofwar.com.
  25. ^ "Ex-Wham singer George Michael dies". BBC News. 25 December 2016. Retrieved 9 December 2020.
  26. ^ Wadey, Toby (25 December 2017). "George Michael's Goring neighbours share memories one year on". BBC News Oxford. Retrieved 26 October 2020.
  27. ^ "Freedom of village given to award-winning bloom chief". Henley Standard.
  28. ^ "Woman awarded freedom of village for contribution". Henley Standard.


External links[edit]