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Behind the Scenes at the River & Rowing Museum



Members of the Henley Archaeological and Historical Group visited the River and Rowing Museum on 16th November at the invitation of its senior staff.

The Museum, with its sporting and environmental themes and of course the popular Wind in the Willows Gallery, is a well-visited attraction in the town. The Group’s visit focused on the Henley Gallery which shows the town’s history, and is effectively its local museum. It is located across a ‘bridge’ from the main building, and very few visitors find their way to it. Its presentation of the town’s past, in a chronological order, and without the thematic approach which can enliven modern museum presentations, is essentially unchanged since the Museum opened in the late 1990s. The Museum is considering alternative ways of presenting Henley’s history, and integrating it more closely with the Museum’s river and rowing themes. The group’s visit was an opportunity to provide suggestions, and many members offered their thoughts.

The Group was given a preview of a couple of objects found in Hambleden by a responsible metal detectorist. These included a beautiful mediaeval metal seal matrix, engraved with the name of a certain Margerie Pevrel. Does anyone know who she was? The finds are planned to go on display in the Museum in 2022.

Currently the Museum is in the process of conserving and documenting some 30,000 objects of all kinds in its own collection, many relating to the history of Henley. They are looking for volunteers (of any age, with even a little time to spare) to help them in this task. If you would like to join them, please contact the Collections Registrar at