An area that has been settled since the Iron Age and the Roman times, Bampton was mentioned as a market town by 1086 and stayed an important settlement in the Saxon and Middle Ages thanks to wool and later on textile- and leatherworking. For visitors today it might seem oddly familiar when you watch the TV show „Downton Abbey“ – the charming Bampton serves as shooting location for the fictional town „Downton“.
The Old Grammar School building, today the Bampton Community Archive hosts a huge selection of photographs of the old Bampton and also about „Downton Abbey“ in Bampton and a small souvenir shop. In the Tv show, it served as the Downton Hospital.
Church View, the site for the fair and many other key elements and „Crawley House“ to the left. Turn around and there is St. Mary´s church.
There seems to have been a church for a long while, the oldest part today is the Anglo-Saxon tower.
It is likely that any earlier building was severely damaged in the siege of Bampton that took place in 1142 and that work on the present building began in 1153.
The present appearance of the church is largely a result of a remodelling of 1270, when the spire was built and the aisles were added. (Bampton – St. Mary´s church)
The location for all the „Downton Abbey“ weddings, christenings and other dramatic events.
Churchgate House in the back used as the exterior for „Crawley House“.
And we´re back on Church View – the site for the two fictional pubs and the post office.
It was about time to warm up again and have a little afternoon tea at „The Cake Element Bakery“ almost next to the store above, I think I was so happy about having some tea I forgot to take some photos. Which is a shame as they present (and sell) the most beautiful celebration cakes and it´s such a cosy place. He is the baker and his wife makes the amazing cake decorations. I´m still dreaming about that Cream Tea I had!
And I´m also still dreaming about the lovely and cosy B & B I stayed in – the Wheelgate House.