Goring-on-Thames (or Goring) is a village and civil parish on the River Thames in South Oxfordshire, England, about 5.5 miles (8.9 km) south of Wallingford and 8 miles (13 km) north-west of Reading. Goring & Streatley railway station is on the main line between Oxford and London. Most land is farmland, with woodland on the Goring Gap outcrop of the Chiltern Hills. Its riverside plain encloses the residential area, including a high street with a few shops, pubs and restaurants. Nearby are the village churches – one dedicated to St Thomas Becket has a nave built within 50 years of the saint's death, in the early 13th century, and a later bell tower. Goring faces the smaller Streatley across the Thames. The two are linked by Goring and Streatley Bridge.

Goring mill and parish church from the bridge
Goring-on-Thames is located in Oxfordshire
Location within Oxfordshire
Area9.61 km2 (3.71 sq mi)
Population3,187 (2011 census)[1]
• Density332/km2 (860/sq mi)
OS grid referenceSU6080
Civil parish
  • Goring-on-Thames
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townReading
Postcode districtRG8
Dialling code01491
PoliceThames Valley
AmbulanceSouth Central
UK Parliament
WebsiteGoring Parish Council
List of places
51°31′23″N 1°08′06″W / 51.523°N 1.135°W / 51.523; -1.135Coordinates: 51°31′23″N 1°08′06″W / 51.523°N 1.135°W / 51.523; -1.135


Goring (right) at the end of the nineteenth century

Goring is on the left bank of the River Thames, in the Goring Gap which separates the Berkshire Downs and the Chiltern Hills. The village is about 8 miles (13 km) north-west of Reading and 16 miles (26 km) south of Oxford. Immediately across the river is the Berkshire village of Streatley, and the two are often considered as twin villages, linked by Goring and Streatley Bridge and its adjacent lock and weir. The Thames Path, Icknield Way and the Ridgeway cross the Thames at Goring. The Great Western Main Line railway passes through Goring, and Goring & Streatley railway station in the village is served by Great Western Railway trains running between London Paddington, Reading and Didcot.

Early historyEdit

The name of Goring is first seen in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Garinges. It appears as Garingies in a charter once held in the British Museum. It means "Gara's people".[2]

Religious sitesEdit

Church of St Thomas of Canterbury

The Church of England parish church of Saint Thomas of Canterbury is Norman, built early in the 12th century.[3] The bell-stage of St Thomas's bell tower was added in the 15th century[3] and has a ring of eight bells,[4] one of which dates from 1290. The rood screen is carved from wood taken from HMS Thunderer (1783), one of Nelson's fleet at Trafalgar.[5] The church hall was added in 1901.[6] The Anglican Churches of Goring, Streatley and South Stoke form a United Benefice.[7] A priory of Augustinian nuns was built late in the 12th century with its own priory church adjoining St Thomas's.[3] The priory survived until the early part of the 16th century[8] when it was suppressed in the Dissolution of the Monasteries and then demolished. The foundations of the priory church, cloister, dormitory, vestry, chapter house and parlour were excavated in 1892.[6]

Goring Free Church is a member of the Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion.[9] The congregation was founded in 1788 and its first chapel was built in 1793.[9] At its centenary, in 1893, a new church building was added[6] and the original chapel became the church hall.[9] It holds Sunday services at 10.30 am and 6.30 pm.[10]

The Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady and Saint John was designed by the architect William Ravenscroft and built in 1898.[6] It is now part of a single parish with the Roman Catholic Church of Christ the King in Woodcote.[11]


Flint House, on a hill is a large flint cobblestone house in a Tudor style converted partly to offices and used by police forces nationally for the purpose of rehabilitation.[12]

Goring United Football Club plays in the Reading Football League.[13] Goring-on-Thames Cricket Club was founded in 1876.[14] Two of its teams play in the Berkshire Cricket League.[15] Goring has also a lawn tennis club with teams that play in two local leagues.[16] Goring and Streatley Golf Club is located in the adjoining village of Streatley.

Goring on Thames Decorative and Fine Arts Society was founded in 1987 and is a member of the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies.[17] Goring has a Women's Institute.[18]

The local bus service between Goring and Wallingford is run by the Goring-based community interest company Going Forward Buses, established in December 2016.


Oxfordshire Village of the Year 2009Edit

On 10 July 2009, Goring was named Oxfordshire's Village of the Year, ahead of 11 other villages and taking the title from neighbouring Woodcote.[19] The £1000 prize will be put towards the village's hydro-electric project[20] to generate electricity from the river Thames.

The competition looks at the depth of the infrastructure and activity within the village and Goring's plans to raise £1m to fund the hydro-electric project was instrumental to its success.

Calor Village of the Year – South England Regional Winner 2009/2010Edit

Goring-on-Thames was both the winner in the Sustainability and Communications category and the Overall Regional Winner of the Calor Village of the Year regional heat for South England.[21]

Britain in BloomEdit

Goring is a finalist in the small towns category of the Britain in Bloom contest in 2019.


In the summer of 1893, Oscar Wilde stayed at Ferry House in Goring with Lord Alfred Douglas. There, Wilde began writing his play An Ideal Husband, which includes a major character named Lord Goring.

An enlarged Ferry Cottage was the home in retirement of Sir Arthur Harris, the wartime leader of RAF Bomber Command, from 1953 until his death in 1984.[22]

The pop star George Michael had a home at Mill Cottage close to the river in his later years. He was found dead there on 26 December 2016.

Notable residentsEdit

In order of birth:

Freedom of the parishEdit

The following have been awarded the Freedom of the Parish of Goring on Thames.

  • Stephanie Bridle, 16 October 2017, for work as a parish councillor[24]
  • Janet Hurst: 12 April 2020, for work on the Britain in Bloom competition and Goring Gap Local History Society[25]

Nearest placesEdit

Twin townsEdit


  1. ^ Key Statistics: Dwellings; Quick Statistics: Population Density; Physical Environment: Land Use Survey 2005
  2. ^ Eilert Ekwall, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-names, p. 201.
  3. ^ a b c Sherwood & Pevsner, 1974, p. 614.
  4. ^ The Oxford Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers, Reading Branch: Goring-on-Thames Archived 6 September 2012 at Archive.today
  5. ^ Christopher Winn: I Never Knew That about the Thames (London: Ebury Press, 2010), p. 77.
  6. ^ a b c d Sherwood & Pevsner, 1974, p. 615.
  7. ^ Services. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  8. ^ Page, 1907, pp. 103–104
  9. ^ a b c Goring Free Church: Our History
  10. ^ Service times. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  11. ^ The Catholic Parish of Our Lady & St John & Christ the King
  12. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1059528)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 30 November 2014. Flint House - Grade II listing.
  13. ^ "Goring United Football Club: Saturday 1st team - Division 1". Archived from the original on 13 July 2011. Retrieved 18 January 2010.
  14. ^ GardinersWorld: Our History Archived 2 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Berkshire Cricket League Archived 4 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ Goring Tennis Club: League Teams
  17. ^ Goring on Thames Decorative and Fine Arts Society
  18. ^ "Oxfordshire Federation of Women's Institutes". Archived from the original on 7 September 2003. Retrieved 18 January 2010.
  19. ^ BBC News, Oxfordshire. Goring Named Village of the Year
  20. ^ Goring & Streatley Sustainability Group
  21. ^ Goring on Thames Celebrates Regional Success. Village wins through for South England in national competition Archived 3 January 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ Christopher Winn: I Never Knew..., p. 78.
  23. ^ Evans, Sophie Jane (11 February 2014). "You've got to have faith! Pop star George Michael hopes the rising River Thames won't wreck his country manor as the flooding reaches his door". Daily Mail. Retrieved 25 December 2016.
  24. ^ [1].
  25. ^ [2].


External linksEdit