Welcome

Welcome to Dorchester on Thames!

View of Dorchester and Whittenham Clumps, from Dorchester Abbey. By Anna Dillon. Click on the image to see more of Anna’s work

Our charming, historic village sits at the confluence of the rivers Thame and Thames, just 9 miles south of Oxford.

As well as being a marvellous place to live, it is also the ideal centre for exploring some of England’s finest countryside, loveliest villages, stateliest of homes and oldest seats of learning.

A small Oxfordshire village of just over one thousand inhabitants, Dorchester on Thames is located eight miles south-east of Oxford and close to the spot where the River Thame meets the River Thames. One of the oldest communities in the area, the village, local walks and Dorchester Abbey are popular with visitors.

Not to be confused with our Dorset namesake, Dorchester on Thames is perhaps best known for the magnificent Abbey Church of St Peter and St Paul.

As Christianity became widely established, St Birinus created a Saxon Cathedral here and in 635AD he baptised the Saxon King Cyneglis in the river Thame. An Augustinian monastery replacement commenced in 1140 which, 400 years later, was saved from Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries after it was purchased for £140 and bequeathed to the village. The medieval abbey church remains open for worship and as a concert venue hosting regular events including the English Music Festival.

The award-winning Cloister Gallery display, described as the best of its kind in the country, interprets the abbey’s story through a collection of carved and moulded medieval stonework while the Abbey Museum concentrates on the history of Dorchester itself.

With travelling becoming more wide-spread, Dorchester was a popular stop-over and two original coaching inns remain in the village.  The surrounding area covers the Sinodun Hills and areas of great walking and cycling interest.

Photogenic Dorchester on Thames is regularly used as a location for the Midsomer Murders television series.

Overy is a small hamlet lying to the South-East of Dorchester, across the River Thame. Its history probably dates back to the 11th century when at least one water powered mill was in existence here. The current mill is most likely on the same site but is a much later timber framed and weatherboard clad building. It was still working in the early 20th century. Landowners included the Cherrills in the 16th century and the Earls of Abingdon. The Davey family then owned the land at Overy and were regarded as innovative farmers, King George 111 visiting their farm here. The farming was principally arable and some sheep rearing.
 In 1874 the Daveys sold the land to St John’s College Oxford, who retained it until the late 20th century. The current houses were all built in the 18th century with the farm buildings dating to the 19th century.
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