About The Thames

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Hurley Lock

Apart from being one of the most fascinatingly historic locks on the river, Hurley Lock is also a centre for water sports.

Hurley Regatta is famous for its competition and social atmosphere, while Hurley Weir is home to Thames Valley white water kayaking, part of the Thames Weir Project.

There is documentary evidence mentioning a ford at Hurley in 450AD at the start of the Saxon invasion. This ford was probably by the nearby Harleyford Manor.

Hurley village itself predates the Norman Conquest and was known by the Danes as Herlei. Many buildings close to the river here were part of a Benedictine Monastery mentioned in the Domesday survey of 1086.

Hurley is undoubtedly one of the most attractive of Thames-side villages. Some 200,000 people visit the lock every year, not including boat traffic.

There was a flash weir here in the 1580s, known as Newlock. Flash weirs used capstans or winches to pull boats upstream against the river's flow. On the Hurley river bank is the partly refurbished flash lock capstan - the only one existing on the Thames. Unfortunately it is located on land not accessible to the public.

A pound lock constructed of fir tree timber was installed in 1773 by the Thames Navigation Commissioners.

,The lock attracts a great deal of wildlife, surrounded as it is by mature timber woodland. Among the frequent visitors are kingfishers, herons, green and greater spotted woodpeckers, red kite, buzzards, ring-necked parakeets and the occasional muntjac deer.

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