Founded in Saxon times, Thame grew up to service local agricultural activity and the nearby Cistercian monastery at Thame Park, suppressed at the reformation. The church of St Mary the Virgin dates from about 1240.
Thame railway station closed in 1964, but the town is now served by Haddenham and Thame Parkway railway station. On the third Thursday of September the town stages the largest one day agricultural show in the United Kingdom.
Famous citizens include courtier Lord Williams of Thame who founded Lord Williams's Grammar School in the town in 1559, and John Hampden.