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Checkendon SSPeter&Paul southeast.jpg
Parish church of Saints Peter and Paul
Grid reference: SU6683
Location: 51°32’35"N, 1°2’46"W
Population: 493  (2011[1])
Post town: Reading
Postcode: RG8
Dialling code: 01491
Local Government
Council: South Oxfordshire
Website: Checkendon Village

Checkendon is a village and parish in Oxfordshire about six miles west of Henley-on-Thames and about nine miles north-west of Reading in Berkshire on a mid-height swathe of the Chilterns.


The parish has a record of continuous settlement since the 7th century. It is listed in the Domesday Book as Cecadene (Old English for "Ceaca's hill or hill-pasture").

After World War II Checkendon hosted a National Assistance Board camp for Polish war refugees displaced from Middle East and Africa. The camp, located at Checkendon outskirts was opened in 1948 and offered accommodation in Nissen huts and was closed in the early 1960s.[2][3]

Parish church

The Church of England parish church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul is a 12th-century Norman building. All but one of the windows were replaced later in the Middle Ages with Decorated Gothic and Perpendicular Gothic ones, and the Perpendicular Gothic west tower is also a later addition.[4] The building is Grade I listed.[5]

The church has an early 13th-century wall painting of Christ in Majesty above a procession of Apostles. The murals were faithfully repainted when they were rediscovered, but more recently this has been considered over-restoration.[6]

The bell tower has a ring of eight bells. Four were cast by Lester and Pack in 1765, two were cast in 1879 by Mears and Stainbank and two more cast by Mears and Stainbank were added in 1967.[7] The turret clock is by Tucker of London, dated 1853.[8]

Saints Peter & Paul parish is now a member of The Langtree Team Ministry: a Church of England benefice that includes also the parishes of Ipsden, North Stoke, Stoke Row, Whitchurch-on-Thames and Woodcote.[9]

War artist Eric Kennington (1888–1960), who was churchwarden, is buried here.


Perplexing signpost at Hookend

Checkendon has a Church of England primary school. Checkendon also has a village green with a playground.

The village has two pubs: the 15th-century Four Horseshoes within the village and the 17th-century Highwayman to the south in the nearby hamlet of Exlade Street. There is also The Black Horse at Scots Common.

Checkendon has an equestrian centre located on Lovegroves Lane. Checkendon Cricket Club plays in the Berkshire Cricket League.

North of the village, in the 19th-century Wheelers Barn, is Philip Koomen Furniture, producing modern bespoke wooden furniture.

The Hookend Recording Studios, where bands such as Marillion, the Cure and the Manic Street Preachers have made albums, are in the manor house at nearby Hook End.



  • Long, E.T. (1972). "Medieval Wall Paintings in Oxfordshire Churches". Oxoniensia (Oxfordshire Architectural and Historical Society) XXXVII: 106–107. 
  • Sherwood, Jennifer; Pevsner, Nikolaus (1974). Oxfordshire. The Buildings of England. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. pp. 533–534. ISBN 0-14-071045-0. 

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Checkendon)