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Cookham StanleySpencerArtgallery
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  About your Area
Cookham (Berkshire)

Cookham shown within Berkshire
Population 6,668 (2001)
OS grid reference SU895855
Unitary authority Windsor and Maidenhead
Ceremonial county Berkshire
Region South East
Constituent country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district SL6
Dialling code 01628
Police Thames Valley
Fire Royal Berkshire
Ambulance South Central
European Parliament South East England
UK Parliament Maidenhead
List of places: UKEnglandBerkshire

Coordinates: 51°33'40?N 0°42'29?W? / ?51.561, -0.708

Cookham is a village and civil parish in the north-easternmost corner of Berkshire in England, on the River Thames. It lies 2 miles north of Maidenhead close to the border with Buckinghamshire.


[edit] Geography

The area made up of three villages:

  • Cookham Village - the centre of the original village, with an attractive High Street which has changed little in appearance over the centuries.
  • Cookham Dean - the most rural village
  • Cookham Rise - the bit in the middle that has grown up around the village's railway station.

The village's neighbours are Maidenhead to the south, Bourne End to the north, Marlow & Bisham to the west and Taplow to the east.

The River Thames flows past Cookham on its way from Marlow to Taplow, and forms the boundary with Buckinghamshire. Several islands in the Thames belong to Cookham, such as Odney Island. The Lulle Brook and the White Brook are tributaries which flow through the parish.

A good amount of common land remains in the parish, such as Widbrook Common, Cookham Dean Common and Cock Marsh. Winter Hill affords excellent views over the Thames Valley.

Cookham is also home to Chartered Institute of Marketing, based in Moor Hall. The John Lewis Partnership, one of the country's premier retailers, which runs John Lewis department stores and Waitrose supermarkets, has a residential training centre based at Odney.

[edit] Local government

Cookham's municipal services are run by the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead. It also has a parish council made up of fifteen councillors assisted by a part time parish clerk and her assistant. The local health services are managed by the Windsor, Ascot and Maidenhead Primary Care Trust.

The ancient parish of Cookham covered all of Maidenhead north of the London and Bath Road until this area's severance in 1894. There were several manors: Cookham, Lullebrook, Elington, Pinkneys, Great Bradley, Bullocks, White Place and Cannon Court.

[edit] History

Holy Trinity Church, Cookham
Holy Trinity Church, Cookham

There are several prehistoric burial mounds in the parish and the Roman Road called the Camlet Way is supposed to have crossed the Thames here somewhere, on its way from St. Albans to Silchester. King Alfred later made Sashes Island one of his burhs to help defend against Viking invaders. There was an Anglo-Saxon nunnery at the church and, later, a female hermit. In the Middle Ages, most of Cookham was owned by Cirencester Abbey and the timber-framed 'Churchgate House' was apparently the Abbot's residence when in town. The Tarry Stone - still to be seen - marked the extent of their lands.

[edit] Attractions

The village is a popular tourist destination, as it is a convenient base for a number of walks along the Thames Path and across National Trust property. There are a good selection of restaurants and pubs in the High Street. The Stanley Spencer Gallery, based in the former Methodist chapel, also has a permanent exhibition of the artist's works.

[edit] Transport

Cookham railway station
Cookham railway station

Cookham Village is on the A4094 between Maidenhead and Bourne End. The A404(M) motorway from Maidenhead to High Wycombe is just to the west of Cookham Dean. Cookham railway station is at Cookham Rise, on the Marlow to Maidenhead branch line. There are one or two direct trains to London, Paddington during rush hour, but the majority of trains require a change at Maidenhead. Then, of course, there is always the river, which has a long stretch of moorings above Cookham Bridge.

[edit] Famous residents

[edit] Art and Literature

  • Kenneth Grahame is said to have been inspired by the River Thames at Cookham to write The Wind in the Willows, as he lived at ‘The Mount’ in Cookham Dean as a child. Quarry Wood in Bisham, adjoining, is said to have been the original 'Wild Wood'. He later lived in Winkfield, Blewbury and Pangbourne.
  • The famous English painter Sir Stanley Spencer was born here and most of his works depict villagers and village life in Cookham. His religious paintings usually had Cookham as their backdrop and a number of the landmarks seen in his canvases can still be seen in the village. A number of his works can be seen at the small Stanley Spencer Gallery in the centre of the village, close to where he lived. He also painted frescoes in at least one of the private houses in Cookham; however, they are not open to public viewing. He is buried in the churchyard in the village.

[edit] Historic Figures

[edit] Celebrities

Cookham is also home to celebrities such as:

In 2002, Timmy Mallett painted a series of portraits of well-known village residents as part of the celebrations for the Queen's Golden Jubilee. A selection of the portraits can be viewed at his web site [1].

[edit] Town twinning

Cookham participates in town-twinning to foster international relations.

[edit] Trivia

  • In 2002, Cookham was at the centre of a row over the Department of Work and Pensions' description of the village's social profile as somewhat spoiled by the gin and jag brigade [2].

[edit] External links

Settlements in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead
Towns: Ascot | Maidenhead | Windsor
Civil parishes: Bisham | Bray | Cookham | Cox Green | Datchet | Eton | Horton | Hurley | Old Windsor | Shottesbrooke | Sunningdale | Sunninghill and Ascot | Waltham St Lawrence | White Waltham | Wraysbury
Other villages and suburbs: Bray Wick | Burchetts Green | Cheapside | Clewer | Cockpole Green | Cookham Dean | Dedworth | Eton Wick | Holyport | Knowl Hill | Littlewick Green | Paley Street | Pinkneys Green | Sunninghill | Touchen End

(Source: Wikipedia)
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