Marlow

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Marlow (historically Great Marlow or Chipping Marlow) is a town and civil parish within Wycombe district in south Buckinghamshire, England. It is located on the River Thames, 4 miles (6.5 km) south-southwest of High Wycombe, 5 miles (8 km) miles west-northwest of Maidenhead and 33 miles (53 km) west of central London.

The name is recorded in 1015 as Mere lafan, meaning “Land left after the draining of a pond” in Old English.

From Norman times the manor, parish and later borough was formally known as Great Marlow, distinguishing it from Little Marlow. The ancient parish was large, including rural areas north and west of the town. In 1896 the civil parish of Great Marlow, created in the 19th century from the ancient parish, was divided into Great Marlow Urban District (the town) and Great Marlow civil parish (the rural areas). In 1897 the urban district was renamed Marlow Urban District, and the town has been known simply as Marlow.

“The manor of Marlow, which had belonged to the Earls of Mercia, was given by William the Conqueror, to his Queen Matilda. Henry the First, bestowed it on his natural son, Robert de Melhent, afterwards Earl of Gloucester, from whom it passed, with that title, to the Clares and Despencers, and from the latter, by female heirs, to the Beauchamps and Nevilles, Earls of Warwick. It continued in the crown from the time of Richard III’s marriage with Anne Neville, until Queen Mary granted it to William Lord Paget, in whose family it continued more than a century; after which, it passed, by purchase, to Sir Humphrey Winch, in 1670; to Lord Falkland in 1686; to Sir James Etheridge in 1690; to Sir John Guise in 1718; and to Sir William Clayton in 1736. It is now the property of Sir William Clayton bart. a descendant of the last purchaser”.

Marlow owed its importance to its location on the River Thames, where the road from Reading to High Wycombe crosses the river. It had its own market by 1227 (hence the name Chipping Marlow), although the market lapsed before 1600. From 1301 to 1307 the town had its own Member of Parliament, and it returned two members from 1624 to 1867.

Marlow is adjoined by Marlow Bottom, a mile to the north. Little Marlow is nearby to the east along the A4155 Little Marlow Road and Bourne End is further along the same road. To the south across the Thames are Bisham (home of Bisham Abbey) and Cookham Dean, both in Berkshire,

There has been a bridge over the Thames at Marlow since the reign of King Edward IIIThe current bridge is a suspension bridge, designed by William Tierney Clark in 1832, and was a prototype for the nearly identical but larger Széchenyi Chain Bridge across the River Danube in Budapest.

The Hand & Flowers, the first gastropub to hold two Michelin stars is located on West Street.

Marlow is twinned with Marly-le-Roi, France; and Budavár, a district of Budapest, Hungary.

The A4155 road runs through Marlow town centre, with the A404 lying one mile to the east, the M40 motorway further to the north, and the M4 motorway to the south.

Marlow is served by a railway station which is the terminus of a single-track branch line from Maidenhead. The train service is known as the Marlow Donkey, which was the nickname given to the steam locomotives that once operated on the line. There is also a pub with the same name, located close to the railway station.

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