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Goring mill and parish church from the bridge
Goring-on-Thames is located in Oxfordshire
Goring-on-Thames shown within Oxfordshire
Area 9.61 km2 (3.71 sq mi)
Population 3,187 (2011 census)[1]
• Density 332/km2 (860/sq mi)
OS grid reference SU6080
Civil parish
  • Goring-on-Thames
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Reading
Postcode district RG8
Dialling code 01491
Police Thames Valley
Fire Oxfordshire
Ambulance South Central
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament
Website Goring 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 relatively large 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 place-name 'Goring' is first attested in the Domesday Book of 1086, where it appears as Garinges. It appears as Garingies in a charter formerly held in the British Museum. The name means 'Gara's people'.[2]

Goring has a railway station, which is on the main line between Oxford and London. Most of the land in the civil parish is farmland, with woodland on the Goring Gap outcrop of the Chiltern Hills. Its riverside plain is made up of the residential area of the village including its high street, which has a few shops, public houses and restaurants. Neighbouring this street are the village's churches. One of these, dedicated to St Thomas Becket, has a nave that was built in the 50 years after his death in the early 13th century, and a later bell tower. The village faces Streatley, which has a lower population and a large riverside hotel, across the Thames. The two villages are connected by Goring and Streatley Bridge.


Goring (right) at the end of the nineteenth century

Goring is on the north bank of the River Thames, in the Goring Gap which separates the Berkshire Downs and the Chiltern Hills. The village is about 8 miles (13 km) northwest of Reading and 16 miles (26 km) south of Oxford. Immediately across the river is the Berkshire village of Streatley, and the two are often considered as twin villages, 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 railway passes through Goring, and Goring & Streatley railway station in the village is served by local First Great Western trains running between Reading and Oxford.

Religious sites[edit]

The Church of England parish church of Saint Thomas of Canterbury is Norman, built early in the 12th century.[3] The bell-stage of St. Thomas's bell tower was added in the 15th century[3] and has a ring of eight bells,[4] one of which dates from 1290. The rood screen is carved from wood taken from HMS Thunderer (1783), one of Nelson's fleet at Trafalgar.[5] The church hall was added in 1901.[6]

A priory of Augustinian nuns was built late in the 12th century with its own priory church adjoining St. Thomas's.[3] The priory survived until the early part of the 16th century[7] when it was suppressed in the Dissolution of the Monasteries and then demolished. The foundations of the priory church, cloister, dormitory, vestry, chapter house and parlour were excavated in 1892.[6]

Goring Free Church is a member of the Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion.[8] The congregation was founded in 1788 and its first chapel was built in 1793.[8] At its centenary, in 1893, a new church building was added[6] and the original chapel became the church hall.[8]

The Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady and Saint John was designed by the architect William Ravenscroft and built in 1898.[6] It is now part of a single parish with the Roman Catholic Church of Christ the King in Woodcote.[9]


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.[10]

Goring United Football Club plays in the Reading Football League.[11] Goring-on-Thames Cricket Club was founded in 1876.[12] Two of its teams play in the Berkshire Cricket League.[13] Goring has also a lawn tennis club with teams that play in two local leagues.[14] Goring and Streatley Golf Club is located in the adjoining village of Streatley.

Goring on Thames Decorative and Fine Arts Society was founded in 1987 and is a member of the National Association of Decorative & Fine Arts Societies[15] Goring has a Women's Institute.[16]


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 taking the title from neighbouring Woodcote.[17] The £1000 prize will be put towards the village's hydro-electric project[18] to generate electricity from the river Thames.

The competition looks at the depth of the infrastructure and activity within the village and Goring's plans to raise £1m to fund the hydro-electric project was instrumental to its success.

Calor Village of the Year – South England Regional Winner 2009/2010[edit]

Goring-on-Thames was both the winner in the Sustainability and Communications category and the Overall Regional Winner of the Calor Village of the Year regional heat for South England.[19]


In the summer of 1893, Oscar Wilde stayed at Ferry House in Goring with Lord Alfred Douglas. There, Wilde began writing his play An Ideal Husband, which includes a major character named Lord Goring. An enlarged Ferry Cottage was the home in retirement of Sir Arthur Harris, the wartime leader of RAF Bomber Command, from 1953 until his death in 1984.[20]

Goring featured in a five-minute clip of the CBBC series Dick and Dom in da Bungalow in which a puppet cat visits towns making irreverent comments about the people and the monuments that it came across. The clip can be seen on "Da Bungalow Online".[21]

Twin town[edit]

Notable residents[edit]

Nearest places[edit]


  1. ^ Key Statistics: Dwellings; Quick Statistics: Population Density; Physical Environment: Land Use Survey 2005
  2. ^ Eilert Ekwall, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-names, p.201.
  3. ^ a b c Sherwood & Pevsner, 1974, page 614
  4. ^ The Oxford Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers, Reading Branch: Goring-on-Thames Archived 6 September 2012 at Archive.is
  5. ^ Christopher Winn: I Never Knew That about the Thames (London: Ebury Press, 2010), p. 77.
  6. ^ a b c d Sherwood & Pevsner, 1974, page 615
  7. ^ Page, 1907, pages 103-104
  8. ^ a b c Goring Free Church: Our History
  9. ^ The Catholic Parish of Our Lady & St John & Christ the King
  10. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1059528)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 30 November 2014.  Flint House - Grade II listing.
  11. ^ Goring United Football Club: Saturday 1st team - Division 1
  12. ^ GardinersWorld: Our History Archived 2 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^ Berkshire Cricket League Archived 4 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
  14. ^ Goring Tennis Club: League Teams
  15. ^ Goring on Thames Decorative and Fine Arts Society
  16. ^ Oxfordshire Federation of Women's Institutes
  17. ^ BBC News, Oxfordshire. Goring Named Village of the Year
  18. ^ Goring & Streatley Sustainability Group
  19. ^ Goring on Thames Celebrates Regional Success. Village wins through for South England in national competition Archived 3 January 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  20. ^ Christopher Winn: I Never Knew..., p. 78.
  21. ^ Da Bungalow Online, Cat's Britain - Goring
  22. ^ Evans, Sophie Jane (February 11, 2014). "You've got to have faith! Pop star George Michael hopes the rising River Thames won't wreck his country manor as the flooding reaches his door". Daily Mail. Retrieved December 25, 2016. 


External links[edit]