Continuing our tour of the Cotswolds, and in recognition of the fact that Downton Abbey is returning to the screens very shortly, we visit the lively town of Bampton. It may seem oddly familiar to Downton Abbey fans, as it doubles as the fictional Yorkshire village of Downton, supposedly somewhere between Ripon and Thirsk!
|Church view, this street has many of the buildings used in the Downton Abbey series.|
Bampton, also called Bampton-in-the-Bush, although the origins of that name are lost to history, it 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.
|Bay Tree Cottage marks the beginning of the 'village' of Downton.|
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. Bampton missed out to some degree on this golden opportunity and never really prospered like the neighbouring towns of Witney and Burford. It did however have a lucrative leather industry, as is born witnes by the beautiful stone buildings, built during the 17th & 18th centuries, that line the streets.
For a detailed history of Bampton you can visit the Parish Council website, which has some interesting historical information, in general, and on the town itself.
|The house on the left doubles as the Dog & Duck pub in Downton.|
|And here it is all dolled up in a shot from the series.|
|This private house is used as the Post Office.|
|Here with accompanying ornamentation, including a fake post box to cover up the dog waste bin!|
|The quiet Sandford Lane|
|Characters from the series using the lane for a bit of alone time.|
|The old grammar school building, which now houses Bampton Community Archive.|
|Is used as the Downton Cottage Hospital.|
|Used in the series as Mrs Crawley's house, this beautiful old building stands next to the church green.|
|And here it is working for a living.|
|A view of the building used for the Grantham Arms, one of Downton's two pubs.|
|Looking at it from the other direction with ubiquitous local on a bike. Good to see that even in those|
days people had televisions.
|The village church of St Mary's.|
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.
Saint Beornwald of Bampton was venerated as patron saint of Bampton from at least the 9th century until the Reformation. His feast day was 21 December. Given the degree of local patronage he may have been the founder of the church. Very little is known about Beornwald. Although early records call him saint, confessor, priest and martyr, even his tomb is now lost for certain.
|A lot of action has taken place inside that church, and in this shot it looks like a huge place.|
|The interior here looks lot more modest, the wonders of television!|
|The village green in the heart of Bampton.|
|And finally, a view along the main street of Downton, taken from the village green. You can see the |
Dog & Duck pub on the right. The signpost in the foreground points to Ripon and Thirsk.
And that's all we have from our tour of Downton/Bampton. Next time we visit the very real village of Filkins, which is actually two villages in one.
You can see more images from the beautiful Cotswolds countryside on my website.