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Hurley

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Hurley

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Hurley is a scattered parish which includes the hamlets of Burchetts Green, Cockpole Green, Warren Row, Knowl Hill. It lies halfway between London and Oxford, being 55 miles from each by river. The river has always been an important part of the village’s history with records of a ford as early as the 6th century.

The historical importance of Hurley lies mainly in the fact that a monastery was founded here in 1086 by Geoffrey de Mandeville and incorporated parts of a previous parish church. The monastery was dissolved in 1536 but relics of the monastic buildings can still be seen incorporated in many of the private residences surrounding the small green adjacent to the church and also in the ancient The Olde Bell inn which dates from 1135 and was built as the monastic guest house.

The church is unusual in that it has neither aisles nor a tower, although a belfry turret was added later. It contains many Norman features and also tombs of the Lovelace family – Lords of the Manor after the Dissolution and the builders of Ladye Place Mansion in which the Whig peers met to invite William of Orange to become king. The mansion was demolished in 1837.

Burchetts Green is an attractive roadside village lying south of the Maidenhead to Henley road. Its main architectural gem is Hall Place built in 1728 and which now houses the Berkshire College of Agriculture. There are occasional open days during which visitors can see around the house and farms.

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