Upper Cross at East Hagbourne
East Hagbourne shown within Oxfordshire
|Population||1,881 (2001 census)|
|OS grid reference|
|Civil parish||East Hagbourne|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
East Hagbourne is a village and civil parish about 1 mile (1.6 km) south of Didcot and 11 miles (18 km) south of Oxford. It was part of Berkshire until the 1974 boundary changes transferred it to Oxfordshire.
East and West Hagbourne have been separate villages since the time of Edward the Confessor, when Regenbald, a priest of Cirencester, held the manor of East Hagbourne. Regenbald continued to hold the manor after the Norman conquest of England in 1066 and compilation of the Domesday Book in 1086. Regenbald died in the reign of Henry I, who then granted East Hagbourne manor to the Augustinians Cirencester Abbey (founded 1117). The abbey continued to hold the manor until 1539, when it surrendered its lands to the Crown in the Dissolution of the Monasteries.
Church of England
A church, probably wooden, existed in East Hagbourne at the time of the Norman conquest. The stone nave of the Church of England parish church of Saint Andrew may have been built in the 12th century. The south aisle was added early in the 13th century. It is linked with the nave by a three-bays arcade. It was followed a few years later by the south chapel, which is alongside the chancel and linked to it by a two-bay arcade. The chancel arch was built in the middle of the 13th century. The north aisle, also of three bays, was added about 1340, followed by the Decorated Gothic north chapel, which is alongside the chancel and linked with it by a two-bay arcade.
On the floor of the north chapel are memorial brasses commemorating Claricia Wyndesor - quare fieri fecit istam capellam (died 1403) and her husband John York fundator istius Ile (died 1404). Nikolaus Pevsner takes this to mean that the north chapel was built early in the 15th century, which surprised him as its Decorated Gothic style had been succeeded by Perpendicular Gothic around 1350. However, the south aisle and south chapel were rebuilt in the Perpendicular Gothic style early in the 15th century so Page and Ditchfield conclude that the brasses of Clarice Windsor and John York were formerly in the south chapel and moved at a later date.
The arch supporting the west bell tower is 14th-century Decorated Gothic but style of the rest of the tower is Perpendicular Gothic. A Perpendicular Gothic clerestory was added to the nave in the 15th century. The east window of the chancel is also Perpendicular, from late in the 15th century.
The tower has a ring of eight bells. The oldest bell was cast in 1602 by Joseph Carter, who in 1606 became the Master Founder at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry. Two more were cast by Ellis Klight of Reading in 1641 and the fourth by Henry Knight in 1670. Another was cast in 1751 by Thomas Lester, Master Founder at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry. The treble bell was cast in Hagbourne by Robert Wells in 1770 and the tenor was cast by his son (also Robert) in 1781. Mears and Stainbank at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry cast the youngest bell in 1910.
A Primitive Methodist chapel was built in East Hagbourne in the 19th century. It is a red brick building with Gothic Revival ashlar stone details. It is no longer a chapel but is now a private house.
Other Notable Buildings and Structures
There are at least 45 listed buildings of special architectural or historic interest currently identified in East Hagbourne. These include the Church of St Andrew (see above) which is the only Grade I listed building in the village. The majority of East Hagbourne's listed buildings are individual houses and cottages, particularly on Main Road and Church Close, which are all Grade II and dating from the mid-17th century.
Buildings and structures of particular interest are:
- The Village Cross (known as the Upper Cross) is Grade II* listed. This is at the junction of Main Road and Church Close. This stone cross dates from the 15th century with 18th-century additions. It is raised on a base of 5 deep stone steps.
- Hagbourne Mill Farm Mill is Grade II* listed. It is some way south of the village and not generally accessible to the public). It dates from the early 18th century with alterations dating from about 1828.
- The Phillips family tomb in the churchyard is Grade II* listed. Matthew Phillips, carpenter to the King, is mentioned below. This is an attractive chest tomb in white and grey marble.
- Kings Holme (opposite the chicken orchard) is Grade II listed but has an earlier date than most buildings. The central building dates from the 16th century ('1591' is carved over the back door).
- Tudor House (opposite the School) is a very prominent three storey farmhouse with thatched barn opposite the Village Cross, with village allotments to one side. It has unusual wooden panelling in the front room and an original corkscrew staircase to the rear.
In the English Civil War in 1644, the Parliamentarian army billetted 6,000 horsemen in East Hagbourne. During this time it is believed[by whom?] the parish church and Upper Cross were damaged. A tiny window, only three inches square, in a house on Main Road, is said to have been used to spy on the Parliamentarian troops.
On 10 March 1659 fire spread through the village, burning down a considerable number of thatched houses. In 1661 Charles II issued a proclamation requesting for aid to be sent to the village. A sum was received from Londoners and, in return, East Hagbourne sent money to London after the Great Fire of London in 1666. The Hagbourne fire could explain the number of well preserved houses from after this era. The village has numerous old timber-framed houses, both around the village cross and along the main street. Coscote Manor, about 0.5 miles (800 m) west of the village, is a timber-framed 17th-century house with fretwork bargeboards and an Ipswich window.
The Didcot, Newbury and Southampton Railway was built through the parish, passing west of the village and east of Coscote on the still extant Hagbourne Embankment - one of the lines most notable civil engineering features, built upon chalk excavated from the passage of the line over the Berkshire downs. It was opened in 1881. During 1942/3, extensive engineering works saw the line doubled to cope with an increase in wartime traffic, and the bridges over the West Hagbourne Road and Lake Road were completely rebuilt. There was no station in the parish; the nearest were at Upton and Didcot. British Railways closed the line to passenger traffic in 1962 and freight in 1967.
Since December 2006 a South Didcot bypass road has been proposed. This would have required the demolition of part of East Hagbourne, particularly houses in the New Road area and is no longer in the offing. 
Amenities and events
In addition to St Andrew's Church, East Hagbourne has a Church of England Primary School on Main Road.
Opposite the school is Hagbourne Village Hall, shared by East and West Hagbourne and used regularly for village events. In 2010 the building was extended with an additional meeting room, new toilets and storage. There is a large hall (with stage), small hall and kitchen for hire.
In 1996, 1999, 2003 and 2004 East Hagbourne was awarded the title of Best Kept Village in Oxfordshire, while in 2009 the village was one of nine UK finalists in the Royal Horticultural Society’s Britain in Bloom competition.
The village holds several events each year. These include an annual fun run on the May Day bank holiday, typically of 4.5 miles (7 km) to 5.5 miles (9 km), which involves a run around the surrounding area, including the villages of Blewbury and Upton. There is an annual "scarecrow trail", a village fête and, in August, a duck race on Hacca's Brook. In recent years a Mummers Play has toured the village in December.
Film and television
Location scenes for three of the four episodes of the BBC television Doctor Who serial The Android Invasion were filmed in the village in July 1975. Star Tom Baker returned to the village to be interviewed by Nick Briggs about his time on Doctor Who for the Reeltime Pictures Myth Makers series in 1989. Briggs returned to the village again to interview villagers for The Village That Came to Life, a making-of documentary featured on the DVD release of the serial in 2012.
- Matthew Phillips (c.1689-1736), Carpenter to King George I and King George II of Great Britain, lived in East Hagbourne and is buried in St Andrew's churchyard.
- TV chef Keith Floyd married in East Hagbourne and lived in a cottage in the village for a short time.
- "Area: East Hagbourne CP (Parish): Parish Headcounts". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 16 March 2010.
- Page & Ditchfield, 1923, pages 475–484
- Pevsner 1966, p. 132.
- Dove's Guide for Church Bellringers: East Hagbourne
- Churn Churches: St Andrew's church, Hagbourne
- Oxfordshire Churches & Chapels: East Hagbourne
- British Listed Buildings Listed Buildings in East Hagbourne, Oxfordshire, England (Retrieved 2011-09-17)
- Clare 1995, p. not cited.
- Clare 1995, p. 12.
- Pevsner 1966, pp. 132–133.
- Pevsner 1966, p. 133.
- Fae, Allan (1913). Quiet roads and sleepy villages. London : E. Nash. pp. 196–7 – via Internet Archive.
- Hagbourne Primary School
- Oxford Times online /news/1084542.Homes_shock_for_south_and_west_Didcot/ Homes shock for south and west Didcot Dec 20, 2006 (Retrieved 2011-09-20)
- Hagbourne Village Hall AGM Minutes, 30 November 2010  (Retrieved 2011-09-20)
- Community shop postmaster calls it a day, Didcot Herald, 10 October 2013.
- Who "Dr. Who". East Hagbourne Community Website. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
- British Listed Buildings Chest Tomb to Phillips Family and Railings Approximately 10 Metres North of Church of St Andrew, East Hagbourne (Retrieved 2011-09-17)
- Herald Series, Chefs remember Keith Floyd Sept 15, 2009 (Retrieved 2011-09-16)
- Daily Record (article reproduced by thefreelibrary.com) Telly Floyd's best booze is pinched; Raiders even grabbed his 100-year-old Glenfiddich. August 30, 1996 (Retrieved 2011-09-16)
- Clare, B et al. (1995). East Hagbourne Times: Portrait of an English Village.
- Page, William; Ditchfield, P.H. (1923). A History of the County of Berkshire, Volume 3. Victoria County History. pp. 475–484.
- Pevsner, Nikolaus (1966). Berkshire. The Buildings of England. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. pp. 132–133.
Media related to East Hagbourne at Wikimedia Commons