East Farleigh appears in the Domesday Book as Ferlaga from the Saxon words referring to a passage (over the river in this case). The nearby village of West Farleigh has the same roots. The 12th-century church is dedicated to St Mary and is a listed building. East Farleigh House was the home of the noted artist Donald Maxwell from 1930 to 1936, and he is buried in the churchyard. There are four public houses in the parish: The Bull in the centre of the village; and The Horseshoes, The Victoria and the Walnut Tree.