St Mary the Virgin parish church
|Population||2,564 (2011 Census)|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
Bampton, also called Bampton-in-the-Bush, is a settlement and civil parish in the Thames Valley about 4.5 miles (7.2 km) southwest of Witney in Oxfordshire. The parish includes the hamlet of Weald. The 2011 Census recorded the parish's population as 2,564.
Bampton is variously referred to as both a town and a village. The Domesday Book recorded that it was a market town by 1086. It continued as such until the 1890s. It has both a town hall and a village hall.
The Bampton area has been settled since Iron Age and Roman times. The earliest settlement was probably somewhat to the east of the centre of Bampton today, the triangular space known as Market Square. Bampton was an important place[vague] in the Saxon and Middle Ages.
Bampton was used for outdoor filming of the fictional village of Downton, North Yorkshire in ITV's period drama TV series Downton Abbey. The primary locations included the Old Rectory (Churchgate House), the Community Archive, St. Mary's church and Church View lane where filming was done in two pubs. 
The Church of England parish church of Saint Mary the Virgin dates from the 12th century. It is on the site of a late Saxon Minster, the tower of which survives in the present church. It has a 13th-century spire, and a carved stone reredos of Christ and his Apostles from about 1400.
From 1861 until 1961 Brize Norton and Bampton railway station, 2 miles (3 km) north of the village, served the area.
Stagecoach in Oxfordshire serves Bampton with bus route 19 (Carterton – Bampton – Witney).
Bampton has a tradition of Morris dancing which may be 600 years old. Documentary and circumstantial evidence show that Morris dancing in Bampton goes back at least to the 1790s. It used to be performed in Bampton on Whit Monday but the date has recently changed to the late May bank holiday. The town is also the home of Bampton Classical Opera which performs both in Bampton and elsewhere. In Bampton the venue is the garden of the Deanery, a private house near St Mary's church.
The Society for the Preservation of Ancient Junketing (Spajers) organises the Bampton Shirt Race around the village on the late May Bank Holiday each year, celebrating the 14 pubs that used to be open. Runners, originally dressed in night-gowns in pairs, with one pushing another in a trolley, stop at the houses that are or were pubs and drink a measure of beer before running to the next.
Other clubs and associations in the village include Bampton Pumpkin Club, Bampton Gardening Club, Society for the Protection of Bampton, and the Bampton Environmental Watch Group.
Bampton Youth Centre was founded in 1984 to provide facilities for children and teenagers. It is in the Victorian former primary school building in Church View. The local magazine The Bampton Beam is distributed freely to all residences and businesses in Bampton. It contains information on events in the Bampton area.
Bampton Town Football Club are affiliated to the Oxfordshire Football Association and play at Buckland Road, Bampton. The club runs senior, youth, junior, and vertan teams. The Bampton & District Aunt Sally Association, formed in 1971, play the traditional throwing game Aunt Sally, which predominantly takes place in pubs in Oxfordshire. Bampton Skatepark was built for the village's skateboarders and BMX riders.
- "Area: Bampton (Parish) Key Figures for 2011 Census: Key Statistics". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
- Crossley & Currie 1996, pp. 31–43
- Crossley & Currie 1996, pp. 6–8
- Crossley & Currie 1996, pages 6–62
- Starr, Mel. "melstarr.net".
- Ffrench, Andrew (23 April 2010). "Village is the star of the show". Oxford Mail. Newsquest. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
- "Bampton Traditional Morris Men". Retrieved 18 May 2011.
- "Bampton Town Football Club". Retrieved 18 May 2011.
- "Bampton & District Aunt Sally Association". Archived from the original on 25 June 2011. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
Sources and further reading
- Aston, Michael; Bond, James (1976). The Landscape of Towns. Archaeology in the Field Series. London: J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd. pp. 87, 88. ISBN 0-460-04194-0.
- Blair, John (1984). "Saint Beornwald of Bampton" (PDF). Oxoniensia. Oxford: Oxfordshire Architectural and Historical Society. XLIX: 47–54.
- Crossley, Alan; Currie, C.R.J. (eds.); Baggs, A.P.; Chance, Eleanor; Colvin, Christina; Day, C.J.; Selwyn, Nesta; Townley, Simon C. (1996). A History of the County of Oxford. Victoria County History. 13: Bampton Hundred (Part One). London: Oxford University Press for the Institute of Historical Research. ISBN 978-0-19722-790-9.
- Giles, John Allen (1848). History of the Parish and Town of Bampton, with the District and Hamlets Belonging to It.
- Sherwood, Jennifer; Pevsner, Nikolaus (1974). Oxfordshire. The Buildings of England. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. pp. 429–435. ISBN 0-14-071045-0.
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