An active group in Henley-on-Thames
The Henley Archaeological & Historical Group, formed in 1976, provides a forum for archaeologists, historians, and others with similar local interests. The Group has been active in archaeological excavations and in studying the history of Henley, its surrounding districts and their inhabitants.
Located in the Thames Valley where Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire meet, Henley has a long and rich history. It was for many years an important inland port on the River Thames, a supply centre for goods carried by water to and from London. At one time, Henley is reported to have contributed more annual tax than Oxford.
We publish research in our Journals (No 30 was published in March 2017), arrange monthly lectures from October to June and arrange visits to archaeological digs and other places of historic interest.
We assisted the Victoria County History of Oxfordshire with Volume XVI(Henley-on-Thames and Environs). This was published on 21 July 2011 and a copy presented to the Queen during a garden party held just outside the town to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee.
Our Building Record Section has been very active in documenting many interesting buildings. Wherever possible, timber-framed buildings are dated using dendrochronology. In many instances buildings have been proved to be much older than previously thought. In particular, The Old Bell public house has been dated to 1325. A project is underway to make these reports readily available to those who find them interesting or require information for planning etc. purposes. Documents are being scanned and made available in pdf form on this website. These are to be found under menu item Buildings Research.
The census database www.henleycensus.info has been extended to contain the 1911 census returns. The data is comprehensive including items such as occupation and disability, not usually present in commercial indexes. For people who live in houses occupied before 2nd April 1911, their first question is usually Who lived in my house? Click the link to enter an address and find out who.
Another group has transcribed probate documents including ~ 400 C18th wills of Henley residents. The transcripts and key information have been loaded to a searchable database available at www.henleyprobate.org.uk.
These two websites provide an interesting insight into life in C18/19th Henley and provide valuable facilities for genealogists and social historians with an interest in Henley and the surrounding area.