Hendred is an attractive picturesque village lying at
the foot of the Berkshire Downs with many old cruck cottages dating from the
14th or 15th century. The house which is now shop and
post office is considered to be one of the finest examples
of early Tudor architecture. The village also has many attractive
16th and 17th century buildings and some remaining thatched
cob walls. Its name is
derived from the Anglo-Saxon ‘Hennerithe’ or ‘rill of
Unusually East Hendred has two parish churches - the CoE parish
church of St. Augustine of Canterbury, and the Roman Catholic
parish church of St. Mary's.
St Augustine's Church has an unusal faceless and handless
clock which is housed in an impressive tower dating from
1450. The clock is believed to date from 1525 as that
is the date stamped on its iron frame together with the
inscription 'John Seymour Wantage', who is assumed to
be its maker. The clock uses the church bells to call
out the time every quarter of an hour and every third
hour the village is treated to the hymn tune 'Angel's
Song' played by the clock on the church's six bells. Inside
the church there is the C13 nave and a Crusader lectern
thought to be unique.
The Victorian-Gothic Roman Catholic church of St Mary's
was built in 1858.
In what would have been the centre of the medieval village
stands Champs Chapel Museum, housed in a small former chapel built
in C15 by the Carthusian monks of Sheen. The museum houses a collection of village artefacts, pictures, documents, books and photographs.
The manor house, Hendred House, has been held by a single family for over six hundred years. The Eyston family first acquired the property in the mid-15th century and remain lords of the manor to this day. The family remained Roman Catholic following the English Reformation, and were responsible for building St. Mary's Church in the village.
Attached to Hendred House is the medieval chapel of St. Amand which remained in Catholic use during penal times and is still used for occasional services today.
On the northern edge of the village are two other relatively
unusual gastronomic features - a fish farm and a vineyard.
For many years East Hendred has been associated with racing
stables and racehorses going to and from the gallops on
the downs are a common sight.
Hendred is at
the foot of the Berkshire Downs to the south of the A417
west of Harwell.