Hambleden Village Post Office and store
Listed flint-built cottages
Hambleden is located in Buckinghamshire
Location within Buckinghamshire
Population1,445 (2011)[1]
OS grid referenceSU784865
Civil parish
  • Hambleden
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtRG9
Dialling code01491
PoliceThames Valley
AmbulanceSouth Central
UK Parliament
List of places
51°34′18″N 0°52′04″W / 51.5718°N 0.8678°W / 51.5718; -0.8678

Hambleden is a small village and civil parish in south-west Buckinghamshire, England. The village is around 4 miles (6.4 km) west of Marlow, and around 3 miles (4.8 km) north-east of Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire.

The civil parish also includes the villages of Fingest and Frieth, and the hamlets of Colstrope, Mill End, Parmoor, Pheasant's Hill and Skirmett. At the 2011 Census, the population of the parish was 1,445.[1]

St Mary's Hambleden SW aspect
St Mary's Ceiling Detail


The village name is Anglo-Saxon in origin, and means 'crooked or irregularly-shaped hill'.[2] It was recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Hanbledene, though previously in 1015 it was known as Hamelan dene. St Thomas Cantilupe, the Lord Chancellor and Bishop of Hereford, was born in Hambleden in 1218. In 1315 a Royal charter was granted to hold a market in the village, and a fair on St Bartholomew's Day (24 August) every year. The charter was reconfirmed in 1321, though appears to have not lasted much longer than this.

The village was a base for US soldiers during the buildup to D-Day in 1944.


Hambleden was a large ancient parish, covering the area of the modern civil parish except for the village of Fingest. It extended over 6,598 acres (2,670 ha), stretching to Skirmett, 3 miles (4.8 km) north of the village of Hambleden, and Frieth 3 miles (4.8 km) north-east of the village.[3] The ancient parish became a civil parish in 1866. In 1934 a small area in the north of the parish was transferred to the parish of Fingest and Lane End.[4] In the 1980s the village of Fingest was added to the parish when the parish of Fingest and Lane End was abolished.

Village and church

The brick and flint cottages in the centre of the village conform to a similar design and have dormer windows topped with red tiles. Saint Mary the Virgin's church dates from the 14th century and includes a conspicuous memorial to Cope D'Oyley (who died in 1633) and his family. The tower contains eight bells and the ceiling is quite intricately decorated in parts. The post office in the village serves also as the local shop and café.

Manor house

The Elizabethan manor house opposite the church, formerly the home of Maria Carmela Viscountess Hambleden,[5] was built in 1603 of flint and brick for Emanuel, 11th Baron Scrope, who became Earl of Sunderland. Charles I stayed there overnight in 1646 while fleeing from Oxford. The Manor House, Hambleden is also the former home of James Brudenell, 7th Earl of Cardigan who led the ill-fated Charge of the Light Brigade. Another notable (Listed Grade II*) building is Kenricks which overlooks the cricket ground and was the previous manor house and the home of Philadelphia Scrope, a cousin and Lady-in-Waiting to Queen Elizabeth I. On her death in 1627 it became The Rectory and was altered in 1724 by the Rector Rev Dr Scawen Kenrick. It ceased to be The Rectory in 1938 and was acquired by the 3rd Viscount Hambleden and renamed Kenricks.

Yewden villa excavation

Roman remains were unearthed to the south of the village in 1912. A contested theory was put forward by Jill Eyers from Chiltern Archaeology in 2010 that a military brothel might have formed part of the Yewden villa site, after archaeologists discovered skeletal remains of what appeared to be 97 newborn babies. The investigation features in the inaugural part of the archaeology series, Digging for Britain presented by Dr Alice Roberts.[6][7] The first part of the second series promised to resolve some of the controversy.[8][9][10]

Notable residents

Saint Thomas Cantilupe was born in the old Manor House (now Kenricks) in 1218. He became Chancellor of Oxford University, Bishop of Hereford and Lord Chancellor of England. He was canonised by Pope John XXII in 1320 and was the last Englishman to be canonised before the Reformation. Thomas D'Oylie (died 1603), physician and linguist, was the uncle of Sir Cope D'Oylie, whose memorial can be seen in St. Mary's Church. The Hambleden Estate was held by the Scrope family from 1365 to 1627. Philadelphia Carey, Lady Scrope was a granddaughter of Mary Boleyn, the sister of Queen Anne Boleyn who was executed by Henry VIII in 1536. The Estate was acquired in 1925 by Frederick Smith, 2nd Viscount Hambleden, who owned the adjoining Greenlands Estate. The Smith family sold the western part of the Estate in 2008 to the Swiss financier Urs Schwarzenbach. Major General Miles Fitzalan-Howard, 17th Duke of Norfolk, lived in the parish until his death in 2002 and his widow Anne continued to live there. Lord Cardigan, famous for his role in leading the ill-fated Charge of the Light Brigade, was born in the Manor House in 1797. The sea chest that he took to the Crimea can be seen in the church. Roger Marquis, 2nd Earl of Woolton lived at Kenricks in the 1960s. Musician Jon Lord, of Deep Purple, is buried in Saint Mary the Virgin's churchyard. Phil Vickery, Rugby Union London Wasps player and England 2003 World Cup Winner, lived in Hambleden[11]


Mill End

Mill End is the southern small hamlet in the civil parish on the main A4155 road between Henley-on-Thames and Marlow, by the River Thames. Mill End consists of 32 houses, some on the river bank and others on the northern side of the main road. The largest historic home is at the heart of its cluster of buildings, Yewden Manor, listed grade II for architecture.[12]

The name clearly comes from the mill that is situated near the lock, on the fast-flowing, narrow, high-sided Hambleden Bourne, which discharges here. Mill End Farm, which has been run by the Bowden family since at least 1965, is opposite the lock and has farmed most of the land in and around the southern Hambleden area. This part of the Thames is characterised by willow trees and a large biodiversity of wildlife including swans, grebes, ducks, herons, terns and kingfishers. The footpath next to Hambleden Lock, the public towpath, provides a significant amenity to Mill End.

Anne Petrie, daughter of the famous Egyptian archaeologist Flinders Petrie lived in Mill End; she is buried in Hambleden church-yard.


In the Mill End part of the village are a watermill, lock and villa. Adjacent to the converted barns and the ordinary home named Mill House, which had served for centuries as home to the moderately wealthy miller of the district,[13] is the much larger, often-photographed Hambleden Mill,[14] which has been converted into flats; this is downstream of a pedestrianised weir from Hambleden Lock.

The site of an unusually immediately Thameside Roman villa[15] adjoins the east of the development.

In Ridge Wood atop the hill opposite the village is a large avenue of giant sequoia and tall pine trees.

Nearby by the Thames

Henley Management College lies 0.6 miles (0.97 km) west and is also on the Thames.

Danesfield House, a hotel and spa is 2.4 miles (3.9 km) east of the village on a hillside of the same relatively steep bank.

In popular culture

Hambleden Lock is mentioned in Jerome K. Jerome's novel Three Men In A Boat.[16]

Filming location

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The village has only one shop-cum-Post Office, and other properties have facades that are more in keeping with a traditional country village. This has long made it a popular shooting location for films, including The Captive Heart (1946), The Witches (1966), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968), Death on the Nile (1978),The Legacy (1979), The Black Cat (1981), Dance with a Stranger (1985), 101 Dalmatians (1996), Into The Woods (2014) and Disenchanted (2022). It was also used in the opening scenes of the remake of The Avengers (1998).


This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources in this section. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Hambleden" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (January 2023) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

Hambleden was used in the HBO mini-series Band of Brothers to depict Easy Company's training in England. Also, the Tim Burton film Sleepy Hollow, starring Johnny Depp and Christina Ricci, included a month-long location shoot at Lime Tree Valley, in Hambleden. In 1979 Hambleden church was the setting for a programme featuring Harry Secombe called Cross on the Donkey's Back. It was an Easter programme by Thames Television and also featured a group of school children from Hambleden C of E School. The 2010 film Nanny McPhee Returns also used parts of the village in some of their scenes. The church was also used in the Agatha Christie's Poirot episode Sad Cypress.[17] In 2017, Hambleden was the location for the fictional village of Bramford in the fourth episode of series 4 of the ITV detective drama Endeavour. Hambleden played the role of Tadfield, home of the Anti-Christ and his friends, in the 2019 mini-series Good Omens.[18]


  1. ^ a b UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Hambleden Parish (E04001601)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 21 November 2021.
  2. ^ Hambleden Archived 8 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine, GENUKI, 4 January 2003
  3. ^ Page, William, ed. (1925). "Parishes: Hambleden". A History of the County of Buckingham: Volume 3. Victoria County History. pp. 45–54. Retrieved 24 September 2020.
  4. ^ Great Britain Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, Hambleden AP/CP. Retrieved (({accessdate))}.
  5. ^ "Viscount Hambleden dies in US, aged 82" Archived 21 August 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Henley Standard, 13 August 2012
  6. ^ BBC Baby deaths link to Roman 'brothel' in Buckinghamshire 25 June 2010
  7. ^ "Video Transcript: Digging for Britain. Britannia". TVO.org. Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  8. ^ Hogan, Michael (13 August 2010). "Digging for history... but it's not Time Team". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  9. ^ P. Natasha (4 November 2018). "Archaeologist Discovered Mass Baby Grave under Roman bathhouse in Ashkelon". Histecho. Retrieved 26 June 2019.
  10. ^ Louise Ord Assistant Producer, Digging For Britain (9 August 2011). "Roman dead baby 'brothel' mystery deepens". BBC News. Retrieved 26 June 2019.
  11. ^ Index[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ Historic England. "Yewden Manor (1125694)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
  13. ^ Historic England. "Mill House (Grade II) (1332087)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
  14. ^ Historic England. "1-10, Hambleden Mill (1310707)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
  15. ^ Historic England. "Roman villa at Mill End (1014601)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
  16. ^ Jerome, Jerome K (1889). Three men in a boat (1964 ed.). London: Folio Society. p. 136.
  17. ^ "Poirot Locations - Sad Cypress".
  18. ^ Geddo, Benedetta (13 June 2019). "See where Good Omens was filmed with an Armageddon-inspired trip". Lonely Planet. Retrieved 25 June 2019.