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

Thames-side between Wargrave and Charvil - - 287736.jpg
Lower Shiplake's meadows with wading Egyptian geese and parish church viewed from the Berkshire side of the River Thames.
Shiplake is located in Oxfordshire
Shiplake shown within Oxfordshire
Area 4.44 km2 (1.71 sq mi)
Population 1,954 (2011 Census)[1]
• Density 440/km2 (1,100/sq mi)
OS grid reference SU7678
Civil parish
  • Shiplake
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Henley-on-Thames
Postcode district RG9
Dialling code 0118
Police Thames Valley
Fire Oxfordshire
Ambulance South Central
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament
List of places
51°30′11″N 0°53′56″W / 51.503°N 0.899°W / 51.503; -0.899Coordinates: 51°30′11″N 0°53′56″W / 51.503°N 0.899°W / 51.503; -0.899

Shiplake is a two-centred village and rural civil parish on the left bank of the River Thames centred 2.3 miles (3.7 km) south of Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire, England. Binfield Heath away from the Thames was once part of the parish.

Shiplake railway station is the only through station on the Henley Branch Line. The railway crosses the Thames via the iron-girder Shiplake Railway Bridge which was built in 1897. The line has train services connected to the national network requiring a change at Twyford to the south. Shiplake College is a large independent school which has many listed buildings.

The A4155 main road from Henley to Reading, Berkshire passes the western edge of the village, but does not go through the village itself.

Parish church[edit]

The parish church dedicated to St Peter and St Paul dates from at least the 13th century and is the centre of the ecclesiastical parish of Shiplake in the diocese of Oxford. In 1869 the Gothic Revival architect, G. E. Street, rebuilt the chancel, north aisle, parts of the south aisle and replaced all its windows' traceries.[2] The church is a Grade II* listed building

The church tower has a ring of eight bells,[3] all recast by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in 2009.[4] Shiplake Church also has a Sanctus bell cast by Gillett & Johnston of Croydon in 1929.[4]

Economic and social history[edit]

In 1773 the Thames Navigation Commission built Shiplake Lock on the River Thames about 0.5 miles (800 m) downriver from the main village. In 1857 the Great Western Railway opened a branch line between Twyford and Henley-on-Thames, crossing the Thames on Shiplake Railway Bridge, about 300 yards (270 m) downstream from Shiplake Lock. The GWR built the only through station on the branch at Lower Shiplake 1 mile (1.6 km) northwest of the historic village, Shiplake railway station. Twyford provides access to the straight east-west part-stopping (semi-fast) services between hub city stations London Paddington and Reading. Lower Shiplake has since grown into the largest settlement within the parish.

In 1889 the author Jerome K. Jerome featured the village in his novel Three Men in a Boat.[5]

Shiplake Court is former a country house rebuilt in 1894 overlooking the Thames, which in 1959 became Shiplake College, an independent boarding school.[6]

In 2003 the village of Binfield Heath and hamlet of Crowsley, separated from the (civil) parish to form the newly created civil parish of Binfield Heath.[7] In the Anglican church the ecclesiastical parish retains these areas and also Dunsden which has contributed to a more rural civil parish, Eye and Dunsden to the south.


Shiplake has a village hall,[8] Women's Institute,[9] amateur dramatic society,[10] a bowls club[11] and a lawn tennis club.[12]


Shiplake House

Most homes post-date the railway and the village has a small minority of industrial, storage, retail, distribution and office units.[1]

Outside of the college (including its listed water tower) and the church (excepting equally a stone cross in the churchyard) the only other conservation-listed structure is Shiplake House, in the starting category (Grade II). It is regency architecture with a white stucco façade "probably covering brick", a slate roof and stuccoed end stacks. It is a rectangular three-storey building with a five-window range. It has a central double door with flanking 8-pane sash windows, 12-pane sashes to ground and 1st floor and 6-pane sashes to the floor above. A flat (projecting) band course of stone is between the first two floors. A moulded cornice band is between its first and second floors. It has elegantly bracketed eaves. Part of the rear and side has a decorative wrought iron verandah.[13]

Wargrave & Shiplake Regatta[edit]

The Wargrave & Shiplake Regatta was founded in 1867 and is held over an August weekend for non-racing shells (also known as Olympic or fine boats).[14] It receives the most entries for skiffing and dongolas racing on the Thames. The regatta attracts a comparable number of entries to the largest shell-racing regattas on the Thames such as Kingston Regatta and Molesey Regatta.

Notable residents[edit]

See also[edit]

Nearest places[edit]


External links[edit]

Media related to Shiplake at Wikimedia Commons