East Hendred

East 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 the waterhens’.

Location map:

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.

East Hendred is at the foot of the Berkshire Downs to the south of the A417 west of Harwell.

Images of East Hendred:
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