Henley on Thames Town Wall

Has been described as a Possible Urban Defence

There are no visible remains

NameHenley on Thames Town Wall
Alternative Names
Historic CountryOxfordshire
Modern AuthorityOxfordshire
1974 AuthorityOxfordshire
Civil ParishHenley on Thames

Medieval town defences of Gates only, position unknown, circumstantial documentary evidence, no archaeological evidence. (Bond)

Town defences at Henley on Thames were first documented in 1397 and last mentioned in 1531.

Henley-on-Thames "Although no traces of walls are now to be seen, there is abundant evidence that the town was once protected by them." The Corporation Deeds contain a number of references to them, most of which describe the position of various properties using phrases such as "above the walls", "at the walls," near the walls," etc. The first such entry occurs in 1397 and the last in 1531. {Note the significantly named feature "Town Ditch" on O.S 25", centred at SU 75988245 The O.N.B. merely calls it "a drain extending 4 chains from Gas Works"} (Burn 1861). (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

Map reference for parish church. Whatever the walls were mentioned between 1397 and 1531 they don't seem to have been significant enough to be otherwise noted by contemporary writers, or to have left any trace (even as faint as a road name). The name Town Ditch lies south of the town and was on the line of a parish boundary so definitely a boundary marker although probably a sewer rather than a defensive feature in practice.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSU762826
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

No photos available. If you can provide pictures please contact Castlefacts

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  • Salter, Mike, 2013, Medieval Walled Towns (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 157 (slight)
  • Townley, Simon, 2009, Henley-on-Thames town, trade and river (The History Press for VCH)
  • Creighton, O.H. and Higham, R.A., 2005, Medieval Town Walls (Stroud: Tempus) p. 258
  • Bond, C.J., 1987, 'Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Defences' in Schofield, J. and Leech, R. (eds) Urban Archaeology in Britain (CBA Research Report 61) p. 92-116 online copy
  • Burn, J.S., 1861, History of Henley-on-Thames p. 11-12


  • Creighton, Oliver, 2006, ''Castles of Communities': Medieval Town Defences in England; Wales and Gascony' Ch√Ęteau Gaillard Vol. 22 p. 75-86