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Mapledurham, Oxfordshire

Historical Description

Mapledurham, a village and a parish in Oxfordshire. The village stands on the river Thames at the boundary with Berks, under a sheltering ridge of hills, 2¼ miles E of Pang-bourne station on the G.W.R., and 3½ NW by W of Reading. Post town and money order and telegraph office, Reading. There is also a money order and telegraph office at Pang-bourne. The parish includes the tithings of Chawsey and Gurney. Acreage, 3068; population, 445. The parish council, under the Local Government Act, 1894, consists of five members. Maplednrham House is a Tudor mansion, the seat of the Blount family, was built in 1523 by Sir Michael Blount, was fortified for Charles L in the time of the Civil War by Sir Charles Blount, has a fine oak staircase with carved vases of flowers on the landings; contains many interesting pictures, chiefly family portraits; and is sung by Pope as the place to which his "Zephalinda" retired from London when " She went to plain work, and to purling brooks, Old-fashioned halls, dull aunts, and croaking rooks."

A beautiful elm-tree avenue nearly a mile long leads from the front of the mansion, and a row of shady pines stands along nearly all the road from the village to Caversham. Mapledurham lock, on the Thames navigation, has a fall of 5 feet. There is excellent fishing in the river for perch and pike, and for trout in the weir pool. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Oxford; net value, £450 with residence. Patron, Eton College. The church stands embowered in trees near the river, is an ancient edifice of flint and stone in the Late Perpendicular style, was restored in 1863; comprises nave, S aisle and chancel, with new stone porch, and with a tower, raised, in 1863, 24 feet above its previous height; has in the tower a clock presented by King William IV., and bearing the royal initials, and contains a handsome monument to Sir Eichard Blount, and a fine brass. There is a domestic Roman Catholic chapel attached to Mapledurham House, which the public are permitted to attend, and an almshouse for six aged men and women.

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


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyOxfordshire 
Ecclesiastical parishMaple-Durham St. Margaret 
Poor Law unionBradfield 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Church Records, in association with Oxfordshire Family History Society and Oxfordshire History Centre, have images of the Parish Registers for Oxfordshire online.

Civil Registration

For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Mapledurham from the following:

Land and Property

A full transcript of the Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Oxfordshire is available online


Online maps of Mapledurham are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Oxfordshire newspapers online:

Visitations Heraldic

The Visitations of Oxfordshire, 1566, 1574 &1634 are available on the Heraldry page.

DistrictSouth Oxfordshire
RegionSouth East
Postal districtRG4
Post TownReading