between Didcot and the Berkshire Downs is the medium sized village of East Hagbourne. The village is
linked to Didcot by New Road, a straight road lined with
rather uninteresting 20th century houses so different
from the remainder of the village. Apart from New Road
East Hagbourne is an extremely attractive village with
many old houses with character.
Main Road, with its variety of
fine old cottages, red-bricked Georgian, black and white
thatched and a few Victorian in style, winds
through the centre of East Hagbourne from St. Andrew's
Church to the remains of a medieval preaching cross known as Lower Cross and the war memorial.
St. Andrew's Church was probably originally an 11th century
Saxon church with additions having been made to it through
the ages. The nave and chancel were built in the 12th
century on an earlier foundation. The church has a Sanctus
bell-cote on the square tower, a Sanctuary Knocker on
the door, a peal of eight bells and some fine memorial brasses.
A paved footpath from the churchyard of St. Andrew's links
East Hagbourne with the village of West
Hagbourne, about a half mile to the west the other
side of the embankment of
a disused railway.
Medieval Crosses once stood in East Hagbourne. Standing
close to the church is the restored cross known as Upper Cross
with its five steps and two sundials on top. However a
couple of broken stumps are all that remain of the Lower
Cross and the cross at nearby Coscote.
Legend has it that The Great Fire of Hagboume in 1659
destroyed cottages that stretched over the fields by the
brook all the way to West Hagboume. The Great fire certainly
happened but, according to the West Hagbourne Village
History Group, this legend is a myth as the fire was restricted
to that part of the village east of St. Andrew's and Domesday
records prove that the two villages were never linked
and have always been separate communities. Apparently
Londoners donated money for the relief of villagers in
East Hagbourne and this was reciprocated in 1666 by the
village when they returned the compliment and dispatched
money for the relief of London!
Blotting paper was invented in East Hagbourne, albeit
accidentally. However none is now made in the village.
The only inn remaining in the village is the Fleur de
Lys in Main Road.
East Hagbourne is about a mile south
of Didcot on the B4016.