History of The Feathers and Burnham
The Feathers is an 18th century Grade II Listed country pub in the beautiful rural village of Burnham, close to Maidenhead, Slough, Beaconsfield and Windsor.
A true countryside retreat, the pub first received its license in 1870 and was a favourite of Edward VII, when he was Prince of Wales. It is said that the Prince would regularly pop in for a pint on his way to Windsor. Today, feathers from the Prince’s coat of arms still adorn the sign outside, in honour of our royal patron.
In 1271, the main road between London and Bath ran right through Burnham. In recognition of its significant location, the village received a royal charter, granting it permission to hold an annual fair and market. However, when a bridge that crossed the River Thames was built in nearby Maidenhead, the main road was diverted away from Burnham and the parish fell into decline.
The village is listed in the Domesday Book, though the first church in the parish is thought to date back to Roman times, though this was certainly replaced by the Saxons in around 700 AD. The Saxon Archbishop Aelfric makes references to the Burnham parish in his will. The majority of the current is 13th century, though the tower is believed to date from about 1200.
In 1266, Burnham Abbey was established by Richard, the Earl of Cornwall, second son of King John and brother of Henry III. It was suppressed during the Reformation and, after the Dissolution, it came into the hands of Paul Wentworth, a prominent Member of Parliament during the reign of Elizabeth I. He had much of the building demolished and built a manor house in its place.
Today, however, a piece of the original north wall can be found in the current refectory, and a lot of the east range has medieval walls – making it one of the best surviving religious houses in Britain.
Burnham has some wonderful things to offer, including a number of grand hotels, such as the Burnham Beeches. Also, because of its close proximity to Pinewood Studios, this charming little village has played an important role in a number of movies, including the famous Carry On films of the 60s and 70s.
If you’re in the area, a visit to Burnham Beeches National Nature Reserve is a must. It’s just over two miles away from The Feathers and is one of the finest examples of ancient woodland in Britain today.
Another must-see is the magnificent Cliveden House, a spectacular Italiante mansion estate and formal gardens. It was first built in 1666 by the 2nd Duke of Buckingham, a famous playboy, as a place to entertain his mistress. Since then it has been destroyed by fire, not once but twice, and played host to virtually every British monarch since George I.
In 1893 the mansion was bought by wealthy American attorney, Waldorf Astor, who then passed it down to his son when he died. The house became famous for lavish parties thrown by the young Astors. Guests said to have been entertained there include: Charlie Chaplin, Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi and President Roosevelt.
The house itself is now a private hotel, the splendid formal gardens are a popular destination for tourists. Owned and manged by the National Trust, they boast a celebrated parterre, vibrant floral displays, impeccable topiary and a fine collection of sculptures.
Famously, the gardens also overlook perhaps the most picturesque stretch of the River Thames, described as "unbroken loveliness” by Jerome K. Jerome in Three Men in a Boat.
With its scenic location in the heart of the Buckinghamshire woodland, The Feathers is an idyllic place to stop for a traditional pub lunch, or something seasonal from our specials boards. If you’ve spent a long morning walking the grounds of Cliveden House or Burnham Beeches, pop along and enjoy a refreshing pint of cask ale or a chilled glass of wine. We guarantee you a fine welcome.
You can find The Feathers on Taplow Common Road in Burnham, just a couple of miles away from Burnham Beeches National Nature Reserve. Simply tap SL1 8NS into your satnav.