Address: Church View, Bampton, OX18 2LZ
Accessibility: St Marys is accessible and has kitchen and toilet facilities.
This year we have a social event taking place every month! Please click here to find out more.
St Mary’s Photo Gallery Click here
Church & Congregation
The church of St Mary the Virgin is located in the older part of the town. It dates from the 12th century, with a 13th century spire and carved stone reredos of Christ and his Apostles from about 1400. St Mary’s history is well documented in ‘ A brief History and Description of St. Mary the Virgin ‘ by Reverend David Lloyd and with photographs by Janet Rouse. St Mary’s is used as the set of St Michael and All Angels Church in the television series Downton Abbey; Churchgate House is additionally used as the set of Crawley House, the residence of Isobel and Matthew Crawley. Services are a mixture of Sung Eucharists, Evening Prayer and Evensongs.
For information about St Mary’s Choir please visit the Choir Page.
Coffee & Co
Coffee & Co is a social group that meet in Bampton Coffee House in the Market Square on Monday mornings from 10:30am for a chat and a catch up! All are welcome to join the friendly group for company & fellowship. Newcomers to the area are always welcomed. Please contact our Parish Administrator here to find out more.
St Marys has recently started a new youth group! We meet regularly and plan to have yearly trips away. To find out more please contact us here.
St Marys has a peal of 8 bells, some of which date back to the 17th Century. In late 2006 the bells were restored for the first time in 100 years at a cost of about £40,000, and all but the heaviest two were removed by Whites of Appleton. The bell ringers practice on a Monday evening and ring most Sundays, as well as for many weddings through the year. They would welcome new members, both experienced and those wanting to try to learn a new skill. If you are interested in finding out more about bellringing please contact our Parish Administrator here.
Our team of flower arrangers produce wonderful floral displays for weddings and throughout the year. The Annual Flower Festival in church takes place over the late May bank holiday weekend. To find out more about about the guild please contact Barbara Farrell at Barbarafarrell1@hotmail.com
Friends of St Mary’s
For information about The Friends of St Mary’s please click here.
Fiona Farmer & Debbie and Darrell Jacobs
Location & History
The Church of St Mary the Virgin, Bampton, Oxfordshire lies at the centre of an ancient parish within an Anglo-Saxon royal estate and on the site of a late Anglo-Saxon Minster from 950 or earlier. The parish was the largest in Oxfordshire and incorporated some 11,238 acres as late as 1877. Evidence suggests that there was a church on the site much before the Norman Conquest, although the earliest surviving document records the gift of the church (and Deanery Manor) by William the Conqueror to Leofric, Bishop of Exeter and the Church of Peter the Apostle and Martyr Exeter (Exeter Cathedral) in 1069.
It is likely that any earlier building was severely damaged in the siege of Bampton that had taken place in 1142. The only surviving element of the church from before that time is the Anglo-Saxon tower (now housing the staircase to the bellringing chamber) evidenced by the fine herringbone stonework. It seems likely that work on the present building began in 1153 when the parish was split in two by the see of Exeter. 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, also called Bampton in the Bush, is a civil parish in the Thames Valley about 4.5 miles southwest of Witney. It includes the hamlet of Weald. The 2011 census recorded the population as 2564 but this
number has surely increased with the building of new homes in the las t 7 years and is set to rise further. Unemployment is generally low but despite this, there is limited availability of low cost or social housing and
house prices are generally well above the national average. This creates small pockets of social deprivation on and general difficulty for young people to buy their own property and stay in the area.
Bampton is variously referred to as both a town and a village! It has a town hall and a village hall. It was recorded in the Domesday book as a market town in 1086 and the
area has had settlements since Iron Age and Roman times. The first written facts about Bampton were recorded in the 7th century AD. More recently, Bampton has been host to
the popular drama, Downton Abbey, with the village and church scenes being filmed here and leading to interested tourists now frequently visiting! It is also the setting for the
fictional crime novels, The Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton, set in about 1366 by Mel Starr. Nowadays, there are not so many shops but we are blessed with
h a primary school (detailed earlier), Post Office, a butcher, a general store, a coffee house and tea room, an antique and collectable emporium, a GP surgery, Art Gallery and a number of small
businesses , including a solicitor, two hairdressers and a Chinese takeaway. It also has the Charity shop, which for many years has raised thousands of pounds for local good
causes and is staffed by volunteers. There are still 4 pubs to frequent! Despite these adventures, many residents travel outside the town for employment and since there are
now only limited bus services to the surrounding towns there is a need to travel by car and therefore issues with parking in certain areas. Bampton has a long tradition of Morris dancing and every Whit Monday Morris dancers
congregate to dance from dawn to dusk around the town. Bampton also enjoys annual donkey derbies, shirt race s and firework display s, and numerous clubs and societies, including The Bush Club a lunch club for the elderly run weekly by volunteers. Bampton is a wonderful place to live. It is a pretty village with many customs. The people are warm hearted and there is a strong sense of service, community and welcoming
visitors. Village website: http://www.bamptonoxon.co.uk/