Bampton, Oxfordshire

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  • Bampton-in-the-Bush
Bampton 3.JPG
St Mary the Virgin parish church
Bampton is located in Oxfordshire
Bampton shown within Oxfordshire
Population 2,564 (2011 Census)
OS grid reference SP315031
Civil parish
  • Bampton
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Bampton
Postcode district OX18
Dialling code 01993
Police Thames Valley
Fire Oxfordshire
Ambulance South Central
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament
Website Bampton Oxfordshire
List of places
51°43′37″N 1°32′38″W / 51.727°N 1.544°W / 51.727; -1.544Coordinates: 51°43′37″N 1°32′38″W / 51.727°N 1.544°W / 51.727; -1.544

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.[1]

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.[2] It has both a town hall and a village hall.

The core of Bampton is on gravel terraces formed of Summertown-Radley or flood plain terrace deposits.[3]


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.[4]

United States troops were billeted in Bampton at various times during the Second World War.[citation needed]

In fiction[edit]

Bampton is the setting for the fictional crime novels The Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton, set in about 1366, by Mel Starr.[5]

Bampton was used for outdoor filming of the fictional village of Downton, North Yorkshire in ITV's period drama TV series Downton Abbey.[6] 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. [7][8]

Film locations for Downton Abbey
Bampton Library
Churchgate House (the old rectory)

Parish church[edit]

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.


Tadpole Bridge carries the road between Bampton and Buckland

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).

Village life[edit]


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.[9] 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.[10] The Bampton & District Aunt Sally Association, formed in 1971, play the traditional throwing game Aunt Sally, which predominantly takes place in pubs in Oxfordshire.[11] Bampton Skatepark was built for the village's skateboarders and BMX riders.

The former Bampton Post Office, now a private house

See also[edit]


Sources and further reading[edit]

External links[edit]