East Hendred is one of several springline villages below the northern slopes of the Downs, within the North Wessex (Berskshire) Downs.
Extending south the Parish crosses the ancient Ridgeway track, and passes Scutchamer Knob, the legendary burial mound of the Saxon King Cwichelm. To the north, close to a village of Steventon, it adjoins its sister village West Hendred on the west, and eastwards borders the lands of Chilton and Harwell close to the world famous international scientific centres.
As East Hendred (Hennarith in 956 AD) has no through road today, its heart has survived to a great extent, with winding streets and lanes leading into field paths.
There are two churches, the late 12th century St Augustine’s with a famous faceless clock, and the Roman Catholic St Mary’s, two modern schools – Catholic and Church of England – a sports ground and three public houses.
Known as a town when it was an important centre for the wool and cloth trades before Henry VIII’s reign, this village has a history of unusual interest. Hendred House, Manor of the Arches, goes back even before permission to build its private St Amand’s Chapel was granted by the Pope in 1256 and the same family, Eystons, have lived there since 1443. The little Chapel of Jesus of Bethlehem was built by the Carthusian monks of Sheen when they came to the nearby Kings Manor in the 15th Century.
For a tiny village East Hendred has an amazing number of listed buildings and historical monuments. Still true today is James Edmund Vincent’s comment, made over a century ago in 'Highways and Byways in Berkshire': “East Hendred is a village of no ordinary attraction”