Bampton Community Archive
The Bampton Community Archive was founded in 2002 to record, preserve and share the social history of this unique village in Oxfordshire.
The archive contains thousands of items relating to life in the village past and present.These include photographs, documents, newspaper cuttings, sound and video files and much more. Each item in the archive is an important part of the telling of the story of the village: from photographs of the restoration of the church bells; to a stone age hand axe; to the history of the WWII airfields around the village; to the documenting of the filming of Downton Abbey in Bampton.
Each item in the archive has been carefully recorded, categorised, described and tagged, and you can browse the entire catalogue.
If you have any items that could be aded to our growing collection, please get in touch – we’d love to hear from you!
The Bampton Community Archive is a registered charity, number 1097295.
For more information about the village of Bampton and the activities going on there, visit the Bampton Beam, the quarterly community magazine.
The Old Grammar School
The Grammar School building continued to be used as a village meeting place and for a range of other village functions. The library moved arrived in 1964 and the Girl Guides, the Brownies and the Scouts had their meetings on the upper floor. There are still some (quite old!) people in the village who remember these gatherings.
In the early 1960s however, the floor upstairs and the stairs to it were deemed unsafe and were so bad that the stairs were removed and the only access now is via a ladder. The floor remains unsafe and the roof, made of wonderful old Cotswold stone, was last repaired in 1911.
The school will be familiar to fans of the popular TV series Downton Abbey as it features as the Community Hospital in the fictitious village of Downton.
The Save Bampton Old Grammar School Campaign
In conjunction with the village as a whole, the Archive is now trying to raise money to both restore the upstairs part of the Old Grammar School, and to replace the stairs to make it accessible and usable once again.
One of the aims of the restoration of the Old Grammar School is to give the Bampton Community Archive a permanent home – where visitors can visit and access the Archive database; browse the collection of historic local history books; see the current exhibition; and browse the shop of local arts and crafts. .
The Robert Vesey Room
For a great history lesson on Robert Vesey, read his bio on the Save Bampton Old Grammar School campaign website.
The Archive puts on three or so exhibitions a year in the Robert Vesey Room on subjects as varied as Bampton at War, Bell Ringing in Bampton, Agriculture and Morris Dancing Tradition in Bampton.
Many of the exhibitions featurd an accompanying book and these can be browsed, read and purchased via the button below.