Site of Littlestoke Ferry,Left Bank. The road is no longer called Papist Way but Ferry Lane. What a pity to lose an historical reference like that - even if it is not entirely politically correct! As it approaches the river it is just a dirt track, bumpy in dry weather - and don't even think about it after prolonged wet weather!
Useable as a slip for small trailed boats
During the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the Roman Catholics of England were persecuted.  One of  the Catholic families - Hildesley/Hilsley/Ilsley - lived at Littlestoke Manor across the river from Littlestoke ferry.  Other significant Catholic groups lived up and down the Thames and as a result the river became a means for them to communicate with each other and meet for mass.  The ferry lane here became known as Papist Way.

Fairmile Hospital Site, Cholsey Meadows


A regeneration of the derelict Fair Mile Hospital site in Cholsey, Oxfordshire. The masterplan and new build scheme by John Thompson & Partners, and a conversion scheme by Woodfield Brady Architects, have been developed on behalf of landowner Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), developer Linden Homes (part of the Galliford Try Group) and Thomas Homes.
The scheme transforms the Victorian hospital site into a sustainable and vibrant community comprising 354 new homes including refurbished houses and apartments within the retained Grade II hospital buildings, and new homes in part of the surrounding grounds to support the restoration of the listed buildings.
In addition, a good mix of commercial, community and leisure facilities as well as the landscaped grounds are accessible to the wider public.
The new homes achieve Sustainable Homes Code level 3 and level 4 and 30 per cent will be affordable, offering a mix of social rented and shared-ownership schemes. An enhanced bus service will also serve the site. Architect: John Thompson & Partners

This may very well affect the River and slipway - may we make a plea to retain the slipway and preserve the immediate banks as a great community resource?

1673: January 20th -

At Southstoke happen’d so great a flood that a Boat was rowed over the tops of the Moore Hedges down to the Vicarage gate so that most part of the Housen and barnes in this Towne were Drowned.


The Little Stoke Ferryman lives near the crossing at Checkenden [Moulsford] Lock, and may perhaps agree to take the horses over.
[ See just above Moulsford Railway Bridge ]

1890: Littlestoke Ferry, Henry Taunt -

Littlestoke Ferry, Henry Taunt, 1890
Littlestoke Ferry, Henry Taunt, 1890
© Oxfordshire County Council Photographic Archive; HT6027

1920:  Fred Thacker -

Within the memory of persons living in 1890, wagons laden with corn had been known to cross the Thames here in time of drought.


Papist Way Slipway
Experience has shown that Papist Way is now equally suited to Anglicans
and may even be possible, in dry weather, for those of other faiths or none

1881: George Leslie, "Our River" -

And it is all the more aggravating that a large ugly country lunatic asylum should have found a situation here.

[ George, your petticoat is showing! Actually, what a lovely setting for Fairmile hospital, which was closed in 2003.
Once again we can marvel at George Leslie’'s use of language.  Where else could “large ugly country lunatics” go? ]

1881: George Leslie, "Our River" -

North Stoke, Little Stoke, and South Stoke, a short distance inland on the Oxfordshire side, are pretty little villages;  there are several houses on that side with nice gardens to the river.

Oxford Brookes Boathouse


Oxford Brookes University Boat Club has won planning permission to extend its boathouse on the River Thames near Wallingford.
The university is seeking to raise £1m to fund the scheme, which will double the size of its training base off Reading Road, Cholsey.
Brookes is one of the UK’s five elite feeder squads for the UK Olympic team and can claim to have the strongest undergraduate rowing squad in the UK, having already produced four Olympic gold medallists.
A spokesman for the university said year-on-year success under director of coaching Richard Spratley meant more room was needed to store world-class boats and build land-based training facilities. The university is aiming to build the extension by Christmas this year [2010] to give its rowers as much use of the new facilities as possible before the London Olympics in 2012. It is hoping to reach the £1m target through a combination of sponsorship, grants and support from donors.
Expanding the boathouse will bring a number of facilities under one roof, including a gym housing rowing machines, as well as warm-up and cool-down areas. The new building will also feature larger changing rooms.

1906: G E Mitton -

This is a long, dull stretch, good for boating, but too unshaded and open to be pleasant for loiterers. The Trial Eights take place here in December.

The Story of the Thames, J E Vincent -

... the Oxford University Trial "Eights" began the practice, still continued, of rowing their annual race over this water. It is perhaps, well to explain that this is a race over a course equal in length to that between Putney and Mortlake between two crews carefully picked with a view to the final selection of the best available crew to uphold the honour of Oxford against Cambridge in the University Boat Race.

Mongewell Park

Julius Gottlieb Gallery and Boathouse at Carmel College

A listed building

Exhibition gallery and boathouse. Designed 1968, built 1969-70 by Sir Basil Spence, Bonnington and Collins, design architect John Urwin Spence. Plinth of curving brick walls contains boathouse, with the gallery a reinforced concrete pyramid 12.2 metres square, rising to a height of 14 metres set on top. Brick paviours to roof of boathouse. The pyramid of reinforced concrete `gunite' with trowelled finish. 2 pairs of double doors to boathouse. The pyramid is pierced with triangular openings, their soffits painted in primary colours, fitted with toughened plate clerestory glazing in metal frames. Glazing at side entrance with triangular lights, and square panes fitted in board-marked triangular surround filled with coloured glass and monographed `J G'. Projecting concrete gargoyles dispel rainwater into brick pools below, part of the composition. INTERIOR: the gallery is lined with board-marked concrete, which incorporates light brackets. The room is entered down steps, which give on to a raised platform area for 3-dimensional work, surrounded by fixed concrete benches incorporated into the building. The interior of the boathouse understood to be simple, and lit by a single triangular rooflight. The building was erected as part of Carmel College, a Jewish boarding school founded in 1948 by Rabbi Dr Kopul Rosen and established at Mongewell in 1953. It is a late addition to the scheme of new buildings, most of them built in the early 1960s to the designs of Thomas Hancock, who prepared a master plan in 1960. Only the gallery and boathouse building is of special interest. It was presented to Carmel College by one of its governors, Lieutenant Commander E J Gottlieb, as a memorial to his father Julius Gottlieb, a designer in wood and patron of the Arts. The pyramidal form was chosen as appropriate to a monument, with the boathouse deliberately kept in a subordinate position. It was originally intended for the exhibition of industrial and engineering design as well as for Arts and Crafts. It is perhaps the most dramatic example of the tough, geometrical forms increasingly preferred by Sir Basil Spence as his work evolved and became more monumental in the 1960s. The small scale of this building made it perfect for the synthesis of these ideas. The building is proto-post modern for its classical geometry.

Mongewell Park was Carmel College, Jewish Independent School, See also here

1792: Picturesque Views on the Thames, Samuel Ireland -

A LITTLE below the town of Wallingford, at Mongewell, on the Oxfordshire side of the river, the late Bishop of Salisbury, Dr. Barrington, has chosen a delightful retreat, richly embosomed, amidst a thicket of trees. Full in view of the house a beautiful verdant lawn skirts the borders of the Thames, which, gliding at a pleasing distance from it, gradually makes its course with a considerable increase of water towards the village of Moulsford, while the distant Oxfordshire hills present a beautiful termination of the scene.

1883: Mongewell Park, Crowmarsh, Henry Taunt -

Mongewell Park, Crowmarsh, Henry Taunt, 1883
Mongewell Park, Crowmarsh, Henry Taunt, 1883
© Oxfordshire County Council Photographic Archive; HT03931

1893:  Mongwell House, Francis Frith, very much redeveloped and extended since 1883 -

1893: Mongwell House, Francis Frith
1893: Mongwell House, Francis Frith

1881: George Leslie, "Our River" -

As Wallingford is neared, the park-like grounds of Mungwell possess fine trees and considerable beauty.

1906: G E Mitton -

The only interesting place in the stretch below is Mongewell, where a large piece of artificial water joins the river, and near it is a small church quaintly built. Shute Barrington, the well-known Bishop of Durham, married for his second wife the heiress of Mongewell, and lived here before his death.

St John the Baptist, Mongewell is a  small riverside church, of possibly Norman origins, redundant, but remaining consecrated, despite having no nave roof. The chancel is watertight however, and services are still held here very occasionally.

1883: St John the Baptist, Mongewell, Henry Taunt -

St John the Baptist, Mongewell, Henry Taunt, 1883
St John the Baptist, Mongewell, Henry Taunt, 1883
© Oxfordshire County Council Photographic Archive; HT3933