Bampton's History

Bampton Place Names

You may wonder how some of the streets and other locations in Bampton got their names. Here is a list of some of them with explanations of how we think they came about.

Of course, if you have others you'd like to add to the list, email us!


Bampton Down

Downs, in England, tend to be ‘up’! This ridge from which there are excellent views runs to the south east of the town.


This is a medieaval term for an enclosed meadow.


The word ‘barton’ appears in many local places. It simply means a farm, derived from Old English bere meaning barley and tun meaning an enclosure.

Bourchier Close

Named after (probably) Sir William but equally possibly, Sir John Bourchier. The first owing to his extension to the church building, the latter because he was the last of the family to occupy the castle. Might simply refer to the family.

Bridge House Hotel

It is obvious why this is so-called once you have spotted the top of the railway bridge just to the west of the building. However, it was previously the ‘Temperance Hotel’ (and cyclists’ rest) but don’t worry, it is now licenced to provide alcohol with its meals!

Briton Street

Named after a Breton family living there in (possibly) the 16th or 17th century.

Brook Street

A comparatively recent name; was Duckpaddle Street when the brook ran down the middle of the road instead of under it.

Crockford Lane

The old name for the pack-horse track to Exeter. Along the track is what looks like a derelict barn but it has four fireplaces –locals called it the ruined farmhouse, but it was actually the Crockford Inn, in use until about 200 years ago.

Frog Street

Because of the inhabitants.

Halfpenny Bridge

This bridge, on the western side of the parish, used to have a toll on it. Guess how much.

High Street

Probably because it is. Not because of the range of shops it offered! - although the first house on the left has been a shop in its time.

Lord's Meadow

The industrial estate was named because it was just that; the most fertile farmland in Bampton kept for the lord's own use at the Norman Conquest and certainly until the end of feudal times.

Luke Street

Named after the chapel on which site Grey Gables in High Street now stands.

Market Close

On the site of where the old town cattle market was held.

Mary Fox's House

When Mr. Gare, the old chemist, died, he had his six pet doves killed and buried with him. He left two houses in his Will - Home Cottage which he left to the church, and the house next door which he left to his housekeeper, Mary Fox, in 1911. It is still known as Mary Fox’s House.

Mary Lane

Runs from Brook Street through the churchyard to Newton Square, once running past the church of St. Mary.

Mill Leat Lane

So called because it ran alongside part of the mill leat feeding Manor Mill. The leat was alas filled in (1960).

Millennium Green

This is a new initiative, next to the school. To commemorate the millennium, an orchard has been planted, and the nearby lime kiln restored. See more information here.

Mount Pleasant

This tiny lane is off High Street.

Newton Square

The New Tun (town) of the Saxons, referring to the settlement rather than the square. You need to think of the area of the island contaning the laundry and the Pharmacy being a big open space.

River Batherm

One theory is that this may derive from Roman times, meaning ‘place by a hot spring or bath’.The nearest hot spring is a couple of miles away at Morebath - though it isn't very hot, just warm enough not to freeze over in winter, we're told.

Shuttern Brook

Any ideas? Maybe because it could be controlled with a ‘shutter’ or sluice. Or maybe associated with the Saxon word for sparkling.

Silver Street

We don’t know – anyone any ideas as to how it got its name? Or is it linked to a ford in Roman times?

South Molton Road

A comparatively recent name for this road, which was originally called ‘New Road’ (because it was).

Station Road

This road ran alongside the old railway station – the platforms are still there, buried under the ‘Station Road’ car park. It was originally called Westgate.

Tanners Cottage

This house in Frog Street is opposite the former bark mill and tannery at the Old House. See page on Bampton mills and Leatherworking.

Teacher's Cottage

This cottage in Station Road is alongside the old school to its left - you can still see the old boot-scrapers for the pupils to wipe the mud off their shoes, and a hoop for throwing balls through at the back in the churchyard.

Windwhistle Road

Because it does!



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