Ewelme is an attractive village and a delight to visit. It lies in a small valley and the name means (place at) the river-source - the river being the small chalk stream, the Ewelme Brook.

The Ewelme Brook was at one time used extensively for the cultivation of water cress. However during the last quarter of the 1900s, regulations prevented the sale of watercress from Ewelme and this, together with greater competition from other areas and countries, led to the industry's demise and production ceased in 1988. The Ewelme water cress beds are now owned and managed by the Chiltern Society as a local nature reserve. They run the whole length of the village and are accessible from the road in places.

In the centre of the village is the source of the Ewelme Brook and an attractive pond. Beside this a small development of late 20th century houses blends almost perfectly with the older village properties in the High Street.

At the west end of the village on slightly higher ground is the large and attractive parish church of St. Mary the Virgin. The tower of St. Mary's is 14th century although the remainder of the church dates from the 15th century. Restoration and alteration since then has been comparatively minor. In the churchyard is the grave of Jerome K. Jerome, the author of 'Three Men in a Boat', who lived in Ewelme in the 1880s. For the history and full information about the Church of St. Mary the Virgin click here.

From the west door of the church is a covered passage that leads to the Cloister - a square courtyard surrounded by thirteen red brick almshouses which were established in 1437. The almshouses are the oldest brick buildings in this part of the country. Next to the Cloister is Ewelme school which was founded originally as a superior grammar school. Now the school is a state primary school and is the oldest school building in the country to be in use as a state primary school. The School is a fine rectangular red brick building two storeys high. The upper classroom has magnificent roof beams, probably made from ship's timbers and has mullioned windows supported by corbels.

About two miles to the southeast of Ewelme village between Swyncombe and Nuffield was once a Tudor royal deer park which it is thought was probably established in the late 14th century.

Some scenes from the popular TV series Midsomer Murders have been filmed in the village of Ewelme.

Ewelme lies just south of the B4009 Benson to Watlington road about 5 miles east of Benson.


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