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The Hotel

The Island

With its delightful location beside the tranquil beauty of the Thames, and beside the ancient Abbey stream, we are virtually an island.

Our private moorings allow for boat trips up the river towards Oxford or stroll down to Abingdon Lock to see the boats meander their way down the reaches. Or simply relax and watch the waters run by while enjoying a cool drink or tea on our Riverside Terrace.

Upper Reaches Hotel History...

The stream that flows underneath the restaurant of the Upper Reaches was cut for a millstream by St Ethelwold between the years 963 and 995.

After the monastery was dissolved in the sixteenth century, the mills became the property of William Blacknall and were then described as ‘being wholly in ruin and decay’. In 1556 the mills were granted to the two new Corporations in Abingdon and it in turned leased them back to Blacknall for and annual rent £20.00. At this time there were two fulling mills and one corn mill, the latter of which remained until 1967. It is this mill and it’s surrounding medieval structure which has been preserved in the Upper Reaches.

In 1968 the Upper Reaches Construction Company built a restaurant with flats over and in 1969 Trusthouse Hotels Ltd. Bought the restaurant and the old mill. The Upper Reaches Construction Company was awarded the contract for building a hotel around the mill itself. The result is a stylish hotel, including a restaurant, bar and conference facility. The mills itself is featured in the restaurant and has been carefully restored to working order. Underneath through the medieval arches, flows the stream diverted by St Ethelwold. A restaurant has been built on the site where corn was grown for almost 1000 years. And the ancient mill stones now serve as decoration to the gardens of the Upper Reaches.

The mill wheel is one of the few remains of Abingdon Abbey. Leaving the Upper Reaches and crossing the mill stream on confronts a few of the domestic buildings which remain; the Granary, the Chequer and the Long Gallery. The Granary, now used as the custodian’s house, was bought by the Corporation in 1673 and used as a house of corrections until the beginning of the 19th century. It was then used as cottages which were condemned in 1934. It is to the generosity of The Pilgrims Trust and the current care and control of the ‘Friends of Abingdon’ that credit must be given for the restoration and preservation of the existing Abby buildings.