West Hendred is a downland village and civil parish about three miles east of Wantage. It is about five miles long, and from half to three-quarters of a mile wide, straggling from the main road up onto the downs, with no real centre. It was also known as Little Hendred.
Like all of the Vale of the White Horse in which it lies, West Hendred was part of Berkshire until the local government boundary changes of 1974 moved it into Oxfordshire.
The Hendred brook flows through the village, and the main line of what began as the Great Western Railway crosses the northern part of the parish. The Icknield Way and the Ridgeway cross the south end of the parish.
The parish includes the hamlet of East Ginge.
2,007 acres (813 hectares)
385 in 2011; 335 in 1851
Poor law union
Present-day local authority
SU 44 88
Adjoining parishes in 1851
See Berks FHS Books for coverage of this parish in the society’s range of CDs.
See also Berkshire Record Office holdings.
www.westhendredpc.co.uk parish council site
www.westhendred.net village hall site
Published local history
Kathleen Philip The shy village: glimpses of the story of West Hendred village(1975)
Anglican church and parochial organisation
West Hendred is a vicarage in the deanery of Wantage in the archdeaconry of Berkshire.
There was a church in West Hendred at the time of the Norman Conquest. The present-day church of the Holy Trinity was built during the fourteenth century.
The VCH of 1924 noted a small Wesleyan chapel. This trust property, comprised in an indenture dated 21 July 1830, consisted of the chapel and a cottage adjoining, occupied by the caretaker.
A schoolmistress was enumerated in the 1851 census, and a National school was recorded in 1863. In 1967 the primary school closed, and combined with that of East Hendred in new premises.
A publican was enumerated in the 1851 census, Elizabeth Saunders, but the pub was not named. Elizabeth appears to have presided over a huge family (one of whom was the schoolmistress mentioned above). Elizabeth’s pub may have been the predecessor of today’s pub, the Hare.
Other local history
The major house of the parish was Sparsholt‘s Court, at the north end of the village, built in the early eighteenth century on the site of its predecessor.
There was also a manor house at East Ginge, residence in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries of the Tubb family. Ginge House, to the north of Ginge Manor, is a square red-brick building with a hipped roof of early eighteenth-century date.
Lower Farm, Blackbirds Farm and Robinsons Farm were mentioned in the 1851 census.
A new village hall replaced the former building in 2005.