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Skirmett maps

Historic maps of Skirmett and the local area, hand-drawn by Ordnance Survey and Samuel Lewis.   View all Skirmett maps

Skirmett photos

We have no photos of Skirmett, although we do have photos of these nearby places:

Hambleden| Stokenchurch| Medmenham| Radnage| West Wycombe| Remenham| Marlow| Henley-On-Thames| Nettlebed| Bradenham| Hurley| Bisham| High Wycombe| Watlington| Little Marlow| Naphill| Cookham Dean| Hughenden Valley| Stoke Row| Speen| Sonning Common

Skirmett area books

Displaying 1 of 9 books about Skirmett and the local area.   View all books for this area

Memories of Skirmett

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Oxfordshire memories

Kathleen Schlesinger Home

In 1944 my mother was in the Ruskin Emergency Hospital in Oxford giving birth to my brother. Before going to hospital she sent me to the Kathleen Schlesinger Home at Russels Water. I was 4 years old but I do remember bits of my time there. I was there from around 3rd August until 6th September, a long time for a 4 year old to be away from his mother. I have some letters written by members of the staff to my mother.

Russel's Water isn't a very big place and I wonder if the building is still there. Strangely, no local historian, nor anybody at Henley Town Council have ever heard of the place.

If anybody reading this has any memories of the Kathleen Schlesinger Home, please send me an email,

Rick Wilmot

School Days

Friar Park, The Drive c1900, Henley-On-Thames
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Before becoming the home of George Harrison of the Beatles, Friar Park was run as a school by sisters of the St. John Bosco order. This was my first school and I remember having to walk all the way to the main door along the winding drive each morning, passing by the huge rhododendron bushes which lined each side.  As I approached the large arched entrance door, shown in the photograph above, I could see the gargoyles dotted around the building, they seemed so frightening and I would always hold my head down until I could ring the large door bell and then would stand and wait for one of the sisters to come and welcome me in for the day.  The first step took me into the porch which then opened into the great hall, there were many doors and a set of grand stairs leading to the balconied upper floor where the classrooms were.

One door led to the chapel where mass was held and in... Read more

Perfect School Days

Friar Park, The Drive c1900, Henley-On-Thames
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I was also a pupil at Friar Park from 1955 to 1962. I have nothing but wonderful memories of this amazing school. As a little girl the endless drive with rhododendron bushes eventually opening into this huge circle where an Edwardian Gothic mansion stood, will always be etched in my memory. The incredible sweep of the lawns on the West Terrace leading down to carefully contrived pools and bridges which hid amazing caves and tunnels that eventually led back into the school itself, were like a Gothic fairytale. At the Christmas Fair the nuns used to open these faintly lit caves, and around each corner you always expected to see at least a goblin sitting with his legs crossed!

I can remember the nuns making all of the costumes for the Christmas plays which were performed in Henley Town Hall. The memory of classical music drifting through the doors of their large workrooms as they sewed it seemed all hours of the day before opening night.  If you... Read more

The Convent School

Friar Park, The Drive c1900, Henley-On-Thames
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We lived at the Lodge at the bottom of the drive and I was allowed to start school at the age of 4 because the Sisters had known me from birth. We had the whole of the grounds to play in so it was very exciting growing up there.
Great memories were of when the tractor came to cut the grass and we had the bales to play on.
It was a great school and I have nothing but happy memories.
I remember the Holy Shop as well. It was a treat to see inside it.
There was a very small dining room joining on to the main hall where we had our dinner when I first started school. My abiding memory of the conservatory was swinging on my chair with a spoon in my mouth. The chair slid away from me and the spoon went straight through my tongue! I was taken off to the War Memorial Hospital but they couldn't do anything because I had just eaten... Read more

Henley on Thames Grammar School

Nobody seems to have mentioned memories of the grammar school. I attended the school during the Second World War when it was shared with a London school who were evacuated there, we used the classrooms in the mornings and the others used them in the afternoon. I remember taking Avril Harrison, a classmate to the cinema one day - my first daring encounter with the opposite sex. Nothing became of this date and I wonder where she is today (I am now 80 years old). One of our school afternoon lessons was gardening,  the food for the school kitchens was grown in the gardens.

Henley Grammar School

My family moved to an old Baker's Shop, partially converted, called "Dunsden House" , Binfield Heath about 5 miles from Henley. I used the school bus, Butler's coaches of Henley to get to school. As a previous contributer has mentioned, we had to share our schooling with a School from Kensington. My class had lessons in the morning and sports or gardening in the afternoons. Under Mr. Le Beau, I think, we had a wonderful team of teachers. I had a very patient lady teacher who took English. My gardening education was from an equally experienced gardener. Through his efforts, I was able to augment the meagre rations at home and had a very productive vegetable garden. Also had rabbits and chicken. Our home adjoined a Chapel which was one of The Countess of Huntingdon's Connections! Next door to that was a lovely village store. I have been a Rotarian for many years since moving to Dorset and one of our members is related to the Henley Brewers called... Read more

Morris Dancers at Nettlebed

The Bull Hotel And High Street c1955, Nettlebed
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I remember coming to Nettlebed in 1993 to play my piano accordian at this pub (and several others!) for Whitethorn Morris.

It was a gorgeous sunny summer day and crowds gathered round to watch the entertainment. Whitethorn Morris is a women's clog morris team from Harrow and they always look smart in their scarlet and blue kit with shiny black clogs. We brought our own band to play and had a really good day's outing in Nettlebed along with with dancers and musicians from other morris sides.

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