It was the Danes in the 9th century who first settled in the valley, discovering it as they travelled up the Thames. They are thought to have named the place from two words 'shire' and 'meeting place'.

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Hambleden Mill today stands sentinel on a backwater of the river Thames at the entrance to the beautiful Hambleden Valley, as it did when recorded in the Domesday Book. It remained a working mill until 1958 and, although recently converted into modern flats, the exterior appearance has been retained. The mill race still meanders by and now creates a marina. A long walkway over the weir leads to the lock and a short distance along the towpath towards Henley the imposing house 'Greenlands' comes into view. Once the site of a siege during the Civil War, it later became the setting for a Victorian mansion where the Rt. Hon. W. H. Smith, M.P., son of the founder of the bookstall business settled in 1858. It is now the Henley Management College.

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Memories of Hambleden

A neighbour, aged eighty-seven, who has lived in Hambleden all his life, tells me that when he was fourteen years of age he worked as gardener's boy at the Rectory. He disliked most the days when he had to 'Go Tag'. This meant that he was roped to the front of the lawnmower which he had to pull across the very large lawns, while it was guided by a more senior gardener.

R.T. Landragin, Hambleden

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Education Provision 1833

Hambledon Parish (Pop. 1,357)

Three Infant Schools, in which about 60 children of both sexes are instructed at the expense of the parents.

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Notes on Hambledon

Description of Hambledon from Sheahan, 1861.

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