Holyport (pronounced Hollyport) is a suburban village in the civil parish of Bray (where at the 2011 Census the population was included), about 2 miles south of Maidenhead town centre in the English county of Berkshire.
The name 'Holyport' originates from Old English horig + port meaning 'muddy market-town', although a local folk etymology holds that the village was a stopping-off point for pilgrims travelling from Canterbury to St David's. The first element had become 'Holy-' by the end of the 14th Century.
The village has a butcher, a newsagent, a grocery, a small café and a hairdresser as well as the post office and a doctor's surgery.
Holyport has four public houses - The George, The Belgian Arms, The White Hart and The Jolly Gardener. Also in the village are Holyport Church of England Primary School, Holyport College and Holyport Cricket Club. An hourly bus service operated by Courtney Coaches connects the village to Windsor and Maidenhead.
Notable residents and visitors
Holyport is not as well known as its neighbour, Bray. However it has a few claims to fame of its own. It has one of the world's few real tennis courts (Royal County of Berkshire Real Tennis Club), where Prince Edward first met his wife-to-be, Sophie Rhys-Jones. Holyport was the home of the prestigious stables of Horace Smith, later known as Smith's Stables, where Queen Elizabeth II rode with her sister Princess Margaret in their younger years. There, using a pair of gates set in the middle of a field, the two young princesses learned to open and close gates whilst on horseback.
Monty Python filmed a Maypole dance-related sketch on the green, the film Happy is the Bride was shot here and in Bray, and Joan Collins filmed an advertisement in Holyport some years back. The movie One of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing was partly filmed in Holyport. A scene from the 1995 Mr Bean episode, entitled 'Tee off Mr Bean', was filmed on Holyport Green.
Holyport was the final residence of veteran BBC TV presenter Frank Bough until his death in 2020, and for many years the former actor Tom Adams, who died in 2014, was spotted frequently in the village pubs. Stirling Moss, the famous racing driver, lived in the village, and was a member of the Bray and Holyport Scout Group.
Sport and leisure
The Holyport Village Fair is held on the Village Green on one Saturday in June every year. This fair has been running since 1946 and draws large crowds from the surrounding area - 2020 is believed to be the first year since the fair's inception that it did not take place.
- "RBH: History of Holyport, Berkshire". www.berkshirehistory.com. Retrieved 13 May 2021.
- Mills, A.D: A Dictionary of English Place-Names, page 177. Oxford University Press, 1991.
- Opening Times. "Bray Pit | Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust". Bbowt.org.uk. Archived from the original on 22 June 2017. Retrieved 17 April 2017.
- In pics: the BBC in Berkshire (13 October 1952). "Berkshire - History - In pics: the BBC in Berkshire". BBC. Retrieved 27 November 2010.
- "Holyport". Pyramidpassion.co.uk. Retrieved 17 April 2017.
Media related to Holyport at Wikimedia Commons