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Thatcham, on the River Kennet, is between Newbury and Reading.

An ancient settlement, Thatcham is recorded in the Guiness Book of Records as the oldest continuously occupied place in Britain.

The surrounding area has been inhabited since pre-historic times and the remains of a Mesolithic village dating from 7700 BC lie nearby. There is also evidence of Bronze and Iron Age settlements.

The first settlement of any size was a Roman village, which grew up where Ermine Street bridged the River Kennet.

Thatcham was later a Saxon settlement and the Norman parish church of St Mary, largely rebuilt in the 19th century, stands on the site of an earlier Saxon Minster.

The growth of Thatcham was linked with the foundation of Reading Abbey by Henry I in 1121. Thatcham was given permission to hold a weekly market but the town was overshadowed by nearby Newbury.

In the 18th and 19th centuries Thatcham, standing on the Old Bath Road (A4), was a prosperous coaching town.

This trade disappeared after 1892 when a railway station was opened in the town, but Thatcham's location on the Main Line from Paddington to the West Country has been vital factor in its growth, along with its position on the A4.

Thatcham's population had grown dramatically since 1945 and today it is a dormitory town for Reading, Newbury and London.

The town is an ideal base for visitors discovering the nearby countryside

Thatcham stands on the Kennet & Avon Canal and the long-distance Kennet and Avon Cycle Route, makes a diversion through the town.

Tourist Attractions in and near Thatcham to Visit

Activities

Activities

Newbury Racecourse 2.2 miles Off to the races ? The course offers some of the finest horse racing on both the flat and over jumps.

Living Rainforest 5.6 miles One of the first centres of its kind in Europe, the Living Rainforest gives visitors the chance to wander through a growing rainforest under glass.

Castles

Castles

Donnington Castle 3.7 miles A Ruined Gatehouse to explore.

Churches

Churches

Sandham Memorial Chapel 5.3 miles The chapel was designed by Stanley Spencer, the war-time artist.

Art Galleries

Art Galleries

Desmoulin Gallery 2.8 miles Set beside the Kennet and Avon Canal, the gallery is housed in one of the oldest buildings in Newbury.

Historic Houses

Historic Houses

Highclere Castle 7.0 miles A grand medieval-designed castle to visit, as seen in BBC's 'Downton Abbey'.

Museums

Museums

West Berkshire Museum 2.8 miles Currently CLOSED for redevelopment. Expected to re-open 2014.

Outdoors

Out & About

Thatcham Nature Discovery Centre Explore the largest continual reedbed and fen in Berkshire.

Venues

Theatres, Cinemas and Venues

New Greenham Arts 2.4 miles Events in a 120-seat studio space, put on by the Corn Exchange. Gallery.

Corn Exchange 2.8 miles A multi-art venue with theatre and dance, housed in an historic building in the market place.

The Watermill Theatre 4.2 miles Beside the River Lambourn at Bagnor in a converted mill, this friendly venue, seating 200, presents a number of new productions a year.

Towns Near Thatcham To Visit - straight line distance:

Newbury (2.76 miles) Pangbourne (9.17 miles) Goring-on-Thames (9.94 miles) Hungerford (11.17 miles)
cottages
How to get to Thatcham
Hotels
Best Western West Grange Hotel
Cox's Lane, Bath Rd, Midgham Thatcham RG7 5UP

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Guest Houses, Bed and Breakfasts, Inns and other Hotels
Hinds Head
Wasing Lane Thatcham RG7 4LX

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The Angel Inn Woolhampton
Bath Road Thatcham RG7 5RT

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Thatcham Weather
Wednesday 22nd October
Day :Partly cloudy skies13°C Partly cloudy skies
Night :Partly cloudy skies7°C Partly cloudy skies
Thursday 23rd October
Day :Overcast skies15°C Overcast skies
Night :Cloudy skies13°C Cloudy skies
Where to Stay in Thatcham
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Area Telephone Code
01635
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