Hurley, Berkshire

Description

Hurley, a village and a parish in Berks. The village-stands in a valley on the river Thames, amid an amphitheatre of green and wooded hills, adjacent to Bucks, 3 1/2 miles SW from Great Marlow station on the G.W.R., and 5 NW by W from Maidenhead station; is a picturesque place with some old timber houses, and has a post and money order office under Marlow; telegraph office, Marlow. The parish comprises 4110 acres of land and 49 of water; population of the civil parish, 1080; of the ecclesiastical, 550. The manor was given at the Conquest to Geoffrey de Mandeville, went soon to Westminster Abbey, passed in 1545 to the Lovelaces, who owned it until 1693, when it was sold to Mr. J. Oakley, and now belongs partly to the East family and partly to the Williams family of Temple, Bisham. A Benedictine priory, a cell to Westminster Abbey, was founded on it in 1086 or 1087, and had vaults which still exist, and in which many years ago three monks' bodies were discovered in their Benedictine habits. A mansion was built over the priory's site by the Lovelaces, made a great figure at the Revolution in connection with John Lord Lovelace, bore the name of Lady Place, was " a perplexing labyrinth of panelled rooms," contained some paintings ascribed to Salvator Rosa, and underwent demolition in 1837. Its chief materials were sold for £700y and a staircase in it, of great splendour, was removed to a. mansion in one of the northern counties. The vaults of the priory continued to exist beneath the mansion, were th& meeting-place of the planners of the Revolution, and were visited by William III., George IIL, and Paoli; and these vaults, covered by a mound of green turf, are now all that remain of the mansion. The rocks of the parish belong to the Tertiary formation, and are remarkable for fine fossil specimens of the elephant, the hippopotamus, the tiger, and other animals. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Oxford; vicarial tithe commuted at £250 with residence. The church belonged to Westminster Abbey, was the burial-place of Edith, sister of Edward the Confessor, underwent restoration in 1852, retains some interesting Norman details, and contains an ancient monument to the Lovelaces, and some other monuments.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England and Wales, 1894-5

Maps

Old maps of Hurley are available on the old-maps.co.uk site, and a current map is available on the Streetmap.co.uk site.


Visitations Heraldic

The Visitations of Berkshire 1532, 1566, and 1665-6 is available online.