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East Hendred
St. Augustine's Church

The most famous treasure of the Anglican Church at East Hendred is its ancient faceless clock. It was made by a John Seymour of Wantage in 1525 and has been wound daily since that time! The tower within which it stands was erected in 1450. The holes in its walls are 'put-logs' in which the builders could fix their wooden scaffolding. Most of the rest of the building dates from around 1200, but the chancel was rebuilt in Victorian times. The nave has good arcading with with little heads carved above the columns.

The chief attraction of the church is its 13th century lectern showing a crusader's foot crushing a three-headed dragon, symbolic of good triumphing over evil. A lower shelf may have been used by a kneeling cantor to support his book. Unfortunately, for security reasons, this is no longer kept on display.

There is a 1439 brass to two Ilsley brothers who lived in a property that once stood behind the church. Like most of East Hendred, they made their money in the cloth trade, as shown by their wool mark. The Eyston brass in the Eyston Chapel, to the south of the chancel through the 15th century screen, is, for some unknown reason, largely obscured by a heavy wooden bench. An interesting old bier and coffin-stand are opposite. However, there are some very nicely carved ledger stones to view, commemorating the same family. These people have lived at Hendred House since the 1440s and have always remained Catholics. Hence there has been a catholic church in this tiny village since 1865.

  

    Nash Ford Publishing 2004. All Rights Reserved.