on the map to enlarge it or CLICK
HERE to see another map of
places of interest)
Hendred has a great variety of places of interest. In fact, it could
compete with some ancient English towns by the number of its monuments
and relics, historical events and personalities related both to the
village history and to the history of Great Britain.
famous village buildings are of course Chapel of Jesus of Bethlehem
(Champs Chapel) and Hendred House, former Manor of the Arches, owned by
the Eyston family since 1443.
are the churches of
East Hendred: St.Augustine's and St.Mary's (Roman Catholic).
Other famous sites and
St.Amand's House, King's Manor site, Church Place and some others.
researcher, in her book "East Hendred - A Brief Guide" (1971) describes
a number of local buildings of historical importance which we too
believe are worth visiting:
visitor enters the village by the narrow, winding Allin's Lane, where
ghosts are said to walk, or by the straight, wider, White Road,
so-called by reason of the chalky white dust which characterised it
before building and heavier traffic made tarmac necessary. The White
Road swings right and we pass into the main village street and are now
in the 'core' of the village, a Conservation area, its ancient
dwellings spaced well apart and little marred by modern development.
the War Memorial on our right stands the Mediaeval Chapel of Jesus of
Bethlehem, built by the Carthusian monks of Sheen who owned King's
Manor after Henry V's edict in 1414 dispossessed foreign religious
houses. For many years it lay derelict and in the 18th Century was used
as a washhouse and a bakehouse. But in 1901 it was acquired by a member
of the Eyston family and it is now partly restored but not in use. The
Priest's house is still in use as a dwelling. Across the road the barns
of the monks, which bound the Manor, are also equipped for modern
living, and King's Barn earned a Civic Trust award.
on, to our left, stands a splendid example of Tudor herringbone
brickwork, now a house and shop and occupied by one of the three
village grocers. A little beyond lies Hendred House, the home for 500
years of the Eyston family, and before that, since before 1166, of the
Turberville, Arches and Stowe families, from whom, through the female
line, the Eystons are descended. Further notes on Hendred House are to
be found in the section on domestic buildings.
St. Augustine's Church there is a crossroads, and the way straight
ahead continues towards the Downs and finally reaches the Ridgeway. We
may well pause here and notice on the rising ground to our left the
gardens of Hendred House, with the park and the agricultural land
farmed by Mr T.M. Eyston stretching towards the Downs. South of Hendred
House and the gardens stands the 19th Century St. Mary's Roman Catholic
Church and on the slopes to the West of the Newbury Road, the cottages,
old and new, of Horn Lane.
to the right past the Parish Church, we pass old cottages, the last of
which, now immaculate, is an example of a type of mediaeval building,
called 'cruck'. The last building of this row, still containing
workshops, also has relics of an older craft, the making of picturesque
Berkshire wagons. The wooden body work was made at the timber and
carpenters' yard at Cozens Farm, behind Hendred House. There are still
a few skilled craftsmen in the village, who learned their skill here
and who can tell in detail how to make a wagon or a wheel. At what is
now 'Harrison's' the iron 'tyres' were fitted and the wagons or
the Victorian School, now no longer used, and then the road turns left
uphill past the 18th Century frontage of St. Amand's House. Our road
then swings again towards West Hendred and the Furlong path, which
joins the two villages.
we left the Portway via Allin's Lane — named after a family
continuously in the village from 1547 until the late 19th Century
should have passed on the one side the Manor, once owned by New
College, but now commemorated only by the name 'Manor House'. The land
on the other side belonged until recently by a title deed of the reign
of Edward III to the Cowdery family. Turning left and passing the
Plough Inn and its ancient barn, now being restored, we turn right and
skirt the little green at the end of Cat Street, where once stood the
stocks, and perhaps also the pillory. We pass the Wheatsheaf and soon
rejoin the main village street.
St. Augustine's Church
is the largest and probably the oldest single building in East Hendred.
Externally its most striking feature is the solid West Tower in
perpendicular style, marked by what are called 'put-log' holes, because
the builders put their log scaffolding in them. Inside the tower, the
most remarkable feature is the faceless clock, made by John Seymour of
Wantage in 1525. It is one of the oldest still working in England and
since it was overhauled by Mr. Arthur Harrison in 1961 keeps very good
time. It is wound by hand daily, and at nine, twelve and every third
hour plays an old hymn tune known as the Angels' Song.
of the peal of six bells in the Tower are interesting. One of these,
the fourth, is pre-Reformation, and is dedicated to St. Anne. The
other, the third, is inscribed "Feare God" and was cast in 1647.
the Church by the Victorian South Porch, one is aware both of the
spaciousness of the Nave and the strength of the heavy 13th Century
pillars. Their mediaeval stone heads are a good example of rustic
carving. The lectern, which is thought to date from the 13th Century,
is unique and interesting to antiquarians. It is based on a Crusader's
foot, treading on a three-headed dragon. The pulpit, richly carved, was
erected at the Restoration, to commemorate King Charles the Martyr,
whose head is said to be depicted in one of the front panels. The
ceilure, or canopy of honour over the Rood, is noted by Pevsner in his
account of the Church in his Buildings of Berkshire. The Chancel is
Victorian, except for the piscina in the South wall of the Sanctuary.
The whole Church has been put in good repair in the years since 1960.
rare feature of the Church is the Eyston Chapel, which has always
belonged and still belongs to the Roman Catholic Eyston family. It was
built as a Chantry in the late 15th Century; during the penal times it
was used for burials.
St. Mary's Roman Catholic
dates from 1865 and architecturally is typical of this period and the
style of Pugin. It was built by C. Buckler. The Presbytery contains
furnishings dating from the same period and appropriately styled.
The Methodist Chapel
was built in 1874.
of the charm of East Hendred derives from the old and varied dwellings.
There are believed to be at least ten cruck cottages in the village, a
development of the earliest and most primitive method of domestic
building, and for this reason comparatively rare. Others with their
thatched roofs and timbers date from the 16th and 17th centuries. The
fine brickwork of Mr. Wickens' shop
has already been noted, and the building may well have been the home of
a prosperous cloth merchant. The 18th Century is represented by St. Amand's House,
whose facade was added by Thomas Yorke in 1716. This stands on land
once part of the endowment of the Chaplain of St. Amand's Chapel. It is
likely that the Chaplain's house was also on this site in mediaeval
times, and the interior of the house certainly indicates a far older
origin than do the 18th Century additions.
stands on an ancient site. Its central part, which may have begun near
the end of the 12th Century, consists of a Great Hall — a
living area with a fire in the middle of the floor and a hole in the
roof. The blackened rafters of a Great Hall still exist, but are hidden
by a lower ceiling of a much later date. The two inner wings may be
contemporary with the Chapel, or added later as the house grew and need
arose. The taller buildings at the back replaced what was already
there, about 1815.
hidden behind its high curtilage walls is now one of the most
attractive dwellings in the village. It contains some manifestly
ancient material, but there is little evidence of its original form. To
the monks who first owned it, it was probably a farm and granary,
rather than a centre of training and practice of monastic life.
Since the Middle Ages there has been a house on this site which
belonged to the Church and was used as a Rectory until 1948. The red
brick Georgian facade was added by the Rev. Charles Wapshare, probably
early in the 19th Century. Parts of an earlier house are situated to
the right and left of the main Georgian building."
Addenbrooke, "East Hendred - A Brief Guide", 1971