The Villages Of The Cotswolds
Bampton, High Street c1965, Oxfordshire. Reproduced courtesy of The Francis Frith Collection. Bampton, Oxfordshire lies in the Thames Valley where its origins were established during the Iron Age. There is some archeaolgical evidence of Roman settlements around the Bampton area, although the first written facts about Bampton were recorded during the 7th century AD.
In the 14th century the Earl of Pembroke, obtained permission from Edward II to re-model his house at Bampton into a castle. Although now long gone, part of a farmhouse at Ham Court, still incorporates part of its gatehouse & curtain wall.
Many Cotswold towns grew wealthy during the Medieval years with wool produced from the "Cotswold Lion" the hardy breed of sheep that brought so much prosperity to the Cotswolds as a whole. The small village of Bampton, missed out to some degree on this golden opportunity & never really prospered like the neighbouring towns of Witney and Burford, who still trade on the history & buildings of this time.
Bampton, Church View c1965, Oxfordshire. Reproduced courtesy of The Francis Frith Collection. However, visitors to Bampton will be surprised by the quality of the housing many built during the period 17th-18th centuries. Suggestions to the reasons why Bampton should have such quality stone buildings include wealth created from a lucrative leather industry & the local estate farmers, who no longer had a meagre existence from a few acres. The parish church of St Marys'is of Norman origins built during the 12th century ,with its distinctive spire added during the 13th century.
The Town Hall also doubles as the market house & was built in 1838 & is the centrepiece of the Market Place. One of the rooms was used as a reading room, & another became the headquarters of the fire brigade, who remained until 1970. The West Oxdfordshire Arts Gallery now occupies a room upstairs.
Bampton, Bridge Street c1955, Oxfordshire, Reproduced courtesy of The Francis Frith Collection. Bampton has also seen expansion in the number of houses being built during the 20th century & now has become part of the commuter belt, neatly placed for Oxford & the easy trip to London. It is a pretty village, & still retains some of the local customs including Morris dancing.
There are several independent small shops which can supply locals with essential items, but for the main shopping locals will need to visit Witney or Oxford.
Free parking around the town hall in the centre of the village.
- The Romany Inn
- The Morris Clown
- The Horseshoe
- The Red Lion
- Poachers Rest
- Village stores with Post Office
- Bampton C.E Primary School
- St Peter's C.E Infants School
- Bampton Museum
- West Oxfordshire Art Gallery
- Aston Pottery