Phillimore's Island

The island is named after the Phillimore family who were formerly the owners of Shiplake House, now Shiplake College.


Phillimore's Island, Henry Taunt

1881: George Leslie, "Our River" -

There is an island just above Shiplake weir;  the best punting course is to make for this island, passing on the Berkshire side, then cut across to the Oxford side on which the tow-path is, making as straight a course as you can.  I mention this, as the other side by the tow-path is longer, and the ground very muddy.  But the punting is not good anywhere until you get above the island, the water being all very deep.

[ George Leslie was used to boats being towed - which is something we never see today - the towpaths are certainly far too overgrown for one thing, and the traditions of how to do it, and how to pass another boat, have been lost ] -

For those towing, there is near here a very awkward place, like many others of the same description on the river, wherever a sharp bend occurs, and the tow-path runs a good way in shore, with a large swampy piece of sedges and rushes between it and the river edge;  what usually happens is, that the tracker walks along until he has passed these rushes, and finds himself suddenly brought to a standstill by the boat having become jammed into the soft bank.  Those in the boat endeavour to push off, but each time they do so, the tracker pulls them in again.  The proper way to pass these bits, is for the tracker to stop when he comes to the commencement of the objectionable piece, and for the people in the boat to commence at once to row or shove, the tracker walking slowly along, keeping level with the boat, and holding the line slack.