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Mapledurham Church and House.JPG
Mapledurham Church and House, seen from the Watermill
Mapledurham is located in Oxfordshire
Mapledurham shown within Oxfordshire
Area 11.32 km2 (4.37 sq mi)
Population 317 (2011 census)
• Density 28/km2 (73/sq mi)
OS grid reference SU6776
Civil parish
  • Mapledurham
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Reading
Postcode district RG4
Dialling code 01491
Police Thames Valley
Fire Oxfordshire
Ambulance South Central
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament
List of places
Coordinates: 51°29′06″N 1°02′17″W / 51.485°N 1.038°W / 51.485; -1.038

Mapledurham is a small village, civil parish and country estate beside the River Thames in southern Oxfordshire. The village electorally in the wards of the United Kingdom lends its name to the adjoining Mapledurham ward of the Borough of Reading, a subdivision of that town's suburb of Caversham and in the county of Berkshire.[1][2]


The village is on the north bank of the River Thames about 3.5 miles (5.6 km) northwest of Reading. The only road access is by a narrow and steep lane from Trench Green on the rural road from Caversham to Goring Heath and Goring-on-Thames. Despite the fact that Mapledurham village is closer, as the crow flies, to central Reading than some of that town's suburbs, it remains a remote and rural location.[1]

The access lane becomes the main street of the village and terminates on the bank of the River Thames, where it is surrounded by the a cluster of three significant buildings. The Church of England parish church of St. Margaret was mainly built in the 14th and 15th century, and was restored in 1863 by the Gothic Revival architect William Butterfield.[3] Mapledurham Watermill dates from the 16th and 17th century[4] and is the last operational watermill on the Thames. Mapledurham House, the country house that is the headquarters of the Mapledurham estate, is one of the largest Elizabethan houses in Oxfordshire.[5] On the village street inland from these three buildings can be found the Mapledurham Almshouses, a group of six almshouses built as a memorial to Sir Charles Lister who died in 1613, and now converted into two cottages.[6]

Mapledurham Lock is on the opposite bank of the river, by the Berkshire village of Purley-on-Thames. Although the weir stretches across the river between the two villages, no access is possible across it and, in the absence of a boat, journeys between the two villages require a lengthy detour via Caversham or Whitchurch-on-Thames.[1]

Because of its picturesque situation, and lack of through traffic, Mapledurham has been used as a set for several films, including the 1976 thriller The Eagle Has Landed. The village, house and mill form something of a local tourist attraction, and on summer weekends the village can be reached by a boat service from Reading.[7][8]

Civil Parish[edit]

The civil parish of Mapledurham covers a considerably larger area than the village itself, and includes the even smaller settlements of Trench Green and Chazey Heath in the Chiltern Hills above the village. It is bordered to the west by the parishes of Whitchurch-on-Thames and Goring Heath, to the north by the parish of Kidmore End, to the east by the Reading suburb of Caversham, and to the south by the River Thames. In the 2011 census, Mapledurham civil parish had a population of 317, an increase of 37 over the previous census in 2001.[1][9][10][11]

For local government purposes the civil parish forms part of the district of South Oxfordshire within the county of Oxfordshire. It is within the Henley constituency of the United Kingdom Parliament, and the South East England constituency of the European Parliament.[9][12]


The Mapledurham estate owns much of the village and parish. It also includes the Mapledurham Watermill, a historic and still operational watermill on the River Thames, and Mapledurham House, an Elizabethan stately home.

The estate belongs to the family of John "Jack" Eyston. At one time the estate included several farms, but farming has now been consolidated on a single farm. The estate has strongly diversified into leisure activities, and includes two golf courses and several holiday cottages. Additionally the house, watermill and surrounding grounds are opened to the public on weekend and bank holiday afternoons from April to September.[7][13]



  1. ^ a b c d Explorer Map 159 - Reading (Map). Ordnance Survey. 2006. 
  2. ^ "Ward Snapshots 2014" (PDF). Reading Borough Council. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2015-10-19. Retrieved 2015-10-19. 
  3. ^ Sherwood & Pevsner, 1974, page 693-694
  4. ^ Sherwood & Pevsner, 1974, page 697
  5. ^ Sherwood & Pevsner, 1974, page 695-697
  6. ^ "St Margaret's Church". Mapledurham Estate. Archived from the original on 2015-10-20. Retrieved 2015-10-20. 
  7. ^ a b "Film Locations". BBC. Archived from the original on 2009-04-04. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  8. ^ "Boat service from Reading to Mapledurham". Thames River Cruises. Archived from the original on 2015-10-19. Retrieved 2015-10-19. 
  9. ^ a b "Election Maps". Ordnance Survey. Retrieved 2009-11-13. 
  10. ^ "Neighbourhood Statistics - Mapledurham CP - 2001". Office for National Statistics. Archived from the original on 2015-10-19. Retrieved 2015-10-19. 
  11. ^ "Usual Resident Population - Mapledurham CP - 2011". Office for National Statistics. Archived from the original on 2015-10-20. Retrieved 2015-10-20. 
  12. ^ "Parishes". South Oxfordshire District Council. Retrieved 2009-11-13. [dead link]
  13. ^ "Admission". Mapledurham Estate. Archived from the original on 2015-10-19. Retrieved 2015-10-19. 


External links[edit]