BAMPTON, (or Bampton In The Bush), a parish in the hundred of Bampton, in the county of Oxford, 14 miles to the W. of Oxford, and 71 miles from London. It is situated on the north bank of the river Isis, a branch of which runs along the western border of the parish and falls into the Isis at Shifford. The parish contains the chapelry of Shifford, and the hamlets of Aston, Brighthampton, Chimacy, Coate, and Weald. It is a place of great antiquity, its history running back beyond the time of the Norman Conquest. It appears in Domesday Book as a market town. It had a castle, erected, as is generally supposed, early in the 14th century, by Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke who held the manor of Bampton. The town is well built, and has a good supply of water. It has a new townhall. Its staple trade was formerly in fell-mongery, and leather articles; but this trade has fallen off; and the market which was held on Wednesday is discontinued. The principal occupations of the place are now agricultural. The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Oxford, divided into three portions, called Bampton, Bampton-Aston, and Bampton-Lew the first being of the value of £550; the second, of £550; and the third of £300. The Dean and Chapter of Exeter possess the patronage of all three livings. The church is a fine cruciform edifice, very old and of great interest. Some parts of it are of Norman architecture, others of the early English style. It has a central tower surmounted by a lofty spire, and contains two monumental brasses, the oldest being of the year 1420. It is dedicated to St. Mary. There is a free grammar school, founded in 1670 by Robert Vesey, the income of which, derived from several endowments, is £54 per annum. The National school has also an endowment, and there are several other parochial charities. The remains of the castle are converted into a farm-house. Phillips, the poet, author of the “Splendid Shilling,” was a native of this town (1676). A horse fair is held on the 26th and 27th of August.The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003
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