Winnie the Pooh sails the Thames The River Thames
From Source to Sea

Whitchurch and Pangbourne

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Whitchurch and Pangbourne are on either side of the river, linked by Whitchurch Toll Bridge.


Height above sea level: 39.65 metres

Whitchurch-on-ThamesWhitchurch is a picturesque south Oxfordshire village located on the north bank of the River Thames, five miles north west of Reading. The history of the riverside village can be traced back to Roman times, and possibly earlier.

An act of parliament in 1792 allowed the building of Whitchurch Toll Bridge, to replace a ferry. The present iron bridge of 1902 replaces two previous wooden tollbridges.

The Whitchurch Toll Bridge over the Thames
between Whitchurch-on-Thames and Pangbourne

Whitchurch Toll Bridge is a busy river crossing carrying the B471 over the Thames, and is used by around 6,500 vehicles during a typical working day (over 24 hours) in school term time. 

A 20p toll is payable to cross the bridge by car.
The photograph on the right show the toll charges at the begining of the last century.

For every sheep and lamb - one halfpenny

St. Mary's church is over a thousand years old.


The village of Pangbourne lies on a bend of the River where it meets the River Pang, facing the village of Whitchurch.

The earliest mention of Pangbourne is in a Saxon charter of 844 as Paegingaburnam (meaning 'streams of sons of Paega').

The tiny River Pang flows through the centre of the village before joining the River Thames between the lock and bridge.

Pangbourne has an ornate village sign. On top is a Viking ship. Underneath the name is an open book in a tree landscape with the words: "The Wind in the Willows; By Kenneth Grahame", paying tribute to the author who lived at Church Cottage in Pangbourne from 1924 until he died in 1932.

The village lock up in the garden of Church Cottage where Kenneth Grahame lived.
Church Cottage
with the church behind
St. James the Less' Church

Kenneth Grahame, inspired by the wildlife he observed on the Thames wrote the children's classic 'The Wind in the Willows'. He lived in Church Cottage, next to the church in Pangbourne.

"It was so very beautiful that the mole
could only hold up both fore-paws and gasp, 'O my!,
O my!, O my!, "

The Thames leaves Pangbourne in an easterly direction along the base of the Chiltern Hills through pleasant meadows towards Reading.

Start of Voyage down the Thames Contents Page Introduction
Facts about the Thames Flooding Thames Basin
Pollution Erosion Tributaries
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I teach computers at The Granville School and St. John's Primary School in Sevenoaks Kent.