East Marden contains some thirty-two dwellings at the north-eastern end of the Octagon. Most people work locally or are retired. There are a few weekenders. The majority of houses are privately owned, although some belong to the farm and are rented. There is an atmosphere of rural tranquility, despite the fact that Petersfield to the north, and Chichester to the south, are both only about fifteen minutes away by car. East Marden has no public transport connections: the nearest bus services are in the villages of Compton, Walderton and South Harting, all approximately four miles distant.
The nearest village shops are in Compton or South Harting. There is a public house close to the parish, The Royal Oak at Hooksway. It is located in walking country near the South Downs Way and is very popular with visitors who come to walk and ride in the area. There is also a restaurant/pub nearby in Chilgrove, The White Horse.
East Marden church is slightly elevated above the rest of the village, beside an unusually shaped well. Described as the most modest and least ecclesiastical looking church in the world, it has as undivided knave and chancel dating from the 12th/13th centuries, and a 17th century porch with a vestry added in 1906. A strong social community exists in the small village and many musical and floral festivals of a high standard are held in the church from time to time.
Details of future events can be found on this website.
Local government takes the form of East Marden Parish Meeting
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The Octagon Parish is made up of eight villages with churches: Stansted, Racton, Stoughton, East Marden, North Marden, Up Marden, Compton and Forestside and two villages without churches: West Marden and Walderton. Blessed with wonderful walks and fine views down to the south coast, its small ancient downland churches are noted for their spiritual peace and tranquillity, some dating back to Saxon times. There are two stately homes in the area: Stansted House and Uppark.