Henley built its wealth from the use of quite a different sort of boat: barge-running
The whole town of Henley was once closed for six weeks - because of the Plague
Not far from Marsh Lock there was a monastic house with a moat. The monks’ coffin lids were later used for ploughing
The face of Isis on Henley Bridge was based on one of the Freeman girls who lived with her family at Fawley Court. She was a friend of the sculptress Anne Seymour Damer and the original mould can be seen at the River and Rowing Museum
Temple Island was built by James Wyatt
Name dropping - were you aware?
King George iii (the mad one) became King after his older brother Prince Frederick of Wales was rumoured to have been killed by a cricket ball at Henley when it landed on a weakened lung. This same Prince Frederick used to set outlandish rowing challenges along the River Thames
Robert Scott of the Antartic kept his boats at Henley and his mother-in-law lived in St Marks Road
The author George Orwell (real name Eric Blair) lived in Henley while his father Richard worked as (legal) Sub-Deputy Opium Agent for the Bengal Government
Curious and quirky:
Most people know of the ghost of Mary Blandy which haunts the Catherine Wheel in Henley, but is that the sound of rowing blades - or the ghosts of the marching Roman Legion who reputedly used the high point at Ancastle Green?
The artist Francis Bacon met the mystery man in his famous Blue series at the Imperial Hotel in Henley
Thomas Gainsborough the artist had a brother, Humphrey, an inventor who built Conway’s Bridge. He collected the rent from lock-keepers - and was found dead in Lion’s Meadow at Henley
Original drowning hooks used to fish out dead bodies from the Thames can be seen in the River and Rowing Museum