Bampton in Devon

Bampton Site: Your Comments

From time to time, people email us with comments about what they think about this site. A selection is provided below - although of course we are modest about our achievements!

I visited the church last summer to look round where my great great, grandparents are buried (Austin family just outside the church door) while it was saddening to see their stone had cracked, it was heartening to see that attempts had been made to preserve it, and that it was such a peaceful tranquil final resting place. Mike Andrews

YouTube "Bampton Railway Model": Very Good film, and super model this is very nice would love to see this someday, interesting regarding the platelayers iron bar which seems to have survived in the gentlemans collection, the display looks very interesting with lamp e.t.c ,please do you know of any other items from the former line which are still around I am really interested in Bampton and the whole Exe Valley line cheers Andrew?

My wife and I visited Bampton recently and had fish and chips for lunch at the Bampton Fish Bar. I’d just like to say that it was easily THE best fish and chips we’ve ever had - crispy batter, succulent juicy beautifully cooked cod and fat crispy chips. Friendly too - we are thinking of buying property in the area and the owner and his customers were a mine of positive information. Would you be so kind as to pass these comments on? And, if there’s room, please feel free to post them on your excellent website.
Kind regards Jim Fisher (Chef/Owner, Cooking, Painting and Digital Photography Holidays in the Dordogne, France

I live in Canada, but visited Bampton last fall. I have some pictures which you might like to add to your gallery. They are attached, and feel free to use them (or not!). #38 is at Ford, #40 the Grand Western Canal and #64, the view from the mound. I can't wait to return! Michael Wright

Great to read the comments from Derek Smith's daughter (he was my art teacher) and Christine White (who I walked to school with). I have tried, unsuccessfully to find the photos on the site that Christine refers to, can you give me some idiot proof instructions please? I have lots of happy memories of Bampton School, especially Mrs Jones and her wonderful school dinners and Miss Armstrong with her invaluable teaching of home economics. I still have the folder we made in art class, under instruction from Derek and all the recipes which I sometimes refer to. Veronica

Wonham - from IOcelandic bookDear sirs; I was reading an Icelandic book about English gentleman Capt. Malcolm Alfred Kennard of Wonham (1874-1934). He and his family came often to Iceland to catch salmon around 1920 to 1930. He also built a fishing lodge here, still in use. His best friend here was the doctor Ingólfur Gíslason he lived in next village close to the river where Capt. Kennard stayed. In 1932 Mr. Kennard invited the doctor and his wife to Wonham, a beautiful palace (Mansion?) for a week. That was a great experience for the icelandic couple, just as we see in the TV today; this British series from the beginning og 1900. So, I just wanted to ask about the Wonham (Castle,Hall, House), does it still exist? Is possible to get a photo of it? I´m very intrested about it after reading this book "Læknisævi" (Doctors life story). Excuse my poor English and my best regards, Karl G. Smith, Reykjavík, Iceland.
Karl supplied the spledid photo of Wonham taken from the book.

I just wanted to thank you for all the information that you have collated regarding Bampton. My connection to Bampton is through my late father. He was related to the Kerslakes and Oxenhams. We used to visit sometimes when the fair was on, I have memories of the ponies being run through the streets, the noise and colour of the stalls and amusements and of visiting an "aunt" called Ivy, a fairly formidable but kindly lady whose husband was I think called Rex or Reg. They lived in Briton Street (I think after looking at a map, in a house with a very steep staircase) and later on moved to a bungalow near the market grounds. I also remember Olive who ran the dairy on the main street (Brook Street?), a lovely lady, the sweet natured Oxenham sisters and a fine gentleman called Mr. Davey who had witnessed the opening of the railway and was to see it closed not long before he passed away.

Fond memories, I hope to visit again one day. Best wishes, Tim.=

Congratulations for an excellent web-site. I have recently been researching my family - Great,Great,Great Grandfather (William Vicary) and family lived at Little Silver (now Silver Street).  Your site has so much information about Bampton and the area, I look forward to visiting in the very near future.
Cheryl Nutt , Hampshire

Hi, we have just returned from a short break at "Lowtrow Caravan Park" in Upton, a few miles up the road from your lovely village. The caravan park itself was a bit of a disappointment but we spotted your fish and chip shop on our way through your village and decided to try it out.
All I can say is "WOW" - I have never had a better piece of cod and chips and for the first time in my life I had cod and chips two days running.
On checking your web site I was surprised to find that  this wonderful fish and chip shop is not even mentioned. I hope for the sake of future visitors that this oversight is corrected and the "Bampton Fish Bar" on Brook Street takes pride of place on your web site.
Mick and Theresa
Godalming ,Surrey Bampton Fish Bar now advertsing on web-site!

I was delighted to find the attached film on youtube;
This features Bampton school, and some members of staff who I am sure will be recognised and remembered. I am a frequent visitor your site, and trust that you will again accept my compliments for keeping such an interesting and informative website up to date.
 Kind regards  Andrew Hagley (Bampton born) This film and another are available commercially - see link on 'School' page.

Passing through lunch time last Saturday I had had the most delicious fish and chips I have tasted for a long time. Congratulations to the fish bar staff on the outstanding quality.
 John Kendrick

I discovered your website in searching for information on my Great-great-great grandfather, Frederick Rabjohns, from Bampton. Would you be able to help me determine whether or not the Frederick Rabjohns in your Roll of Honour in my ancestor?

You have been very helpful.  Thank you for your diligence with my inquiry and for the service your website provides.
Mr. William Rabjohn(s), Scottsville, New York U.S.A.

Sent by Susan Hunt – Ivy Cottage, Church Lane 1942 to 1953


I can’t believe I am coming back to Bampton Fair after all these years. It was one of the highlights of our year when I was a child. We always had a wonderful day.


I do come back to Bampton whenever I am in Devon and wander around. It doesn’t seem to have changed too much, only for the better. The biggest change is that all the old shops I was used to have gone. It will be a delight to see the ponies again as I believe they haven’t been at the fair for a few years.


It was such a happy time for me and my two brothers and sister. I would also like to say how much I have enjoyed the ‘Bampton Book’, organised and put together by Carolyn Seward and many of my childhood friends.


I can’t wait until Thursday 30th October 2008 and wish all the organisers of this great event a fine and successful day.

Open Day - 2008: Big thanks to all involved in arranging such a superb day - we had such fun with the teddy-bear parachuting - I'm sure my bear will get over the trauma of being stuck on the roof in time - the gardens were all interesting and unusual, the dog show was great and the food at the Toucan was wonderful. I look forward to coming again next year and taking part this time in the Run.

Best wishes - Jill and Clare Riddiford

I have taken your contact address from, and have been glad to find so much interesting information on your website.

I write because The University of the Third Age Archaelogy Group in the Minehead area is interested in making a visit to Bampton to learn of its history. We wonder if there is a local historian who would be willing to meet us and show us round, telling us something of the town's long history.

Our group has 10-20 people in it for such visits. As you would expect with the U3A we are almost all retired and come with a range of background experiences. We meet on the first Thursday of each month and visit different places within range of Minehead. Some visits are morning only, others continue into the afternoon after a lunch break. "Local history" would be as accurate a title as "Archaeology" for us - both cover what we do of tracing the past from what one sees at present.

My own knowledge of Bampton is limited to having enjoyed two visits to the Fair with our grandchildren - the town looked to have much of interest in it.

Chris Lawson, Minehead

The Wheelwright Arms and Serle Family

Fantastic!    Thank you so much for all the information you so promptly sent me, I am most grateful. At a glance I can see lots of recognisable names,  many confirming research I have done but not been sure of.   For example, the marriage of John Serle to Ann in 1805 has confirmed her surname as Crudge, so another ancestral line for me to follow.  You have certainly given me a great deal of detail and I shall enjoy linking the people listed - this family history lark is very exciting and always leads to researching other things such as the local and social history of the particular area.

As I live near Guildford, Surrey, unfortunately Bampton is not just around the corner and it is through websites and visits to records offices that I have managed to progress my research.    The Bampton website has been most useful with information about the area and with links and contacts, many thanks to those people who put the time and effort in to provide such valuable information.

All information will go into my ENORMOUS family history file. Best Wishes - PAT

What a good site, as you can see from my name I was bored and looking at the net and found this. my next move will be to visit the town and find out were the name originated.
Great work from the people that built the site well done.

Andrew Bampton

Firstly can I say what a joy it is to visit the Bampton site. I grew up in the village (born 1956) and left when I was 16. Like most teenagers I was attracted by the 'bright lights' and enjoyed the pace of London life for some years. Equally some years ago I moved back to Somerset, and of course now appreciate to a much greater degree the childhood that I had!

I have a particular interest in history, and as a schoolboy remember attending local history classes, then presented by Mr Hulland who was the headmaster of the local Secondary School. Visiting the site is a wonderful reminiscence.

I have visited the site (and Bampton!) on a number of occasions since. On my last visit to the site, I recall finding some information relating to a Ministry of Information film, that may have made reference to the village in WW11, unfortunately I cannot find this information on today's visit.  Are you able to help please? (Link provided on the 'School' page)

Following the publication here (from March 2007) of the information on the graves in St Michael's churchyard, and our linking up with the GENUKI web-site, our local historian has had some very favourable comments:

THANKs a Million for the attached info - it will be a big help I am sure. I have written to Diana and I must say your whole organisation is TOP DRAWER... what a response to what I thought was a speculative plea for help! Dedicated enthusiasts you most certainly are!!!!

Let me say a big thank you for the wonderful transcript data that you have sited on the GENUKI Bampton web page. It has been....and will continue to be, an invaluable source of data for the families I am researching. John Hall

Thank you for your feedback regarding my transcriptions. My mother's family hailed from Bampton. I live in Texas and am unable to offer any "boots on the ground" assistance. However you may wish to contact the local historian Tom. Russ Davies

What a great site - I am ashamed to say that I have just returned home to Hampshire having spent a week staying in Exmoor - and I have only just visited your site today for the first time. It's excellent . Well done!


PS You didn't mention the Quarrymans Rest for food - we had lunch there today and it was very good !  Quarryman's Rest now on our web-site!

Good Afternoon.

While working on family history, I have come across a William PAYNEL or PAGNEL or PAGANEL, said to be lord of Bampton towards the end of the 12th or beginning of the 13th century. Would you be able to throw more details on this very fragmented information? I have not found any details in the history page of Bampton web site for which I compliment you.

Regards Alain Durand

My Great Great Grandfather Henry Snell was school master of a school in Briton Street on the 1861 and 1871 census, which I believe used to be called Britain Street. Do you have information on this school? Also his oldest son William was assistant in Sammuel Farrant's drapers and grocers in Castle Street, again any info to add colour to our family history?

Great site by the way , keep up the good work!

regards Sue Tsirigoti
Castaway Travel

Idea: History of some of the “Old families of Bampton”. Mine came to Bampton in 1659 from Oakford where they were Millers. A Thomas Gibbings married an Elizabeth at local church.  Many of us buried in local church yard.  Last Gibbings left in 1978 when my Grandfather died. We first lived in Newton Square then in 5 Castle Street.  Full family tree if you are interested.  Some went to Coldridge (about 20 miles west) and by chance I found and bumped into their relations in Western Australia while I was there visiting friends. The Escott family were another with a long history in Bampton.  You also had a Jewish family called Lazarus who owned a butchers in the town in the early 1800’s.  Where did they come from? How did they come to arrive in Bampton and what happened to them?  Just an idea that lots in the village may be able to help with.  List all the gravestones on a map of the graveyard? That will keep the kids occupied in the summer and that’s where the history is now.   Chris Gibbings  

Gravestone survey now available on this site - here.

I found your site when looking for information about England. Very nice and informative. I made a link
from my website, so everyone can enjoy it. When placing this link is a problem, please let me know and
i will remove it from my site.
You can find my webiste at: Greetings from Holland - Jan Kersten

What a great web site! I called it up today as I have just found (after a lengthy search) that my ancestor Jane Goudge was born in Bampton. She married a man called John Heyman and I only previously knew of them living in central London. This goes back to the late 18th and early 19th century. I wondered if these names were known locally in the history of the parish. Of course the spellings may have varied over the years as I doubt these folks knew how to read and write.

I hope to visit the village some time as I have friends who live just over the Somerset border.

Once again, congratulations on a well-presented site.



Sevenoaks, Kent

Hi there,

I think your website it great!
I couldn't find anything to tell me where the nearest airport is though, maybe I just was looking properly!

Just a suggestion.

Mags. (Ireland)

(Your suggestion is now implemented - thanks!)

One of the if not the best town websites I have seen over the last 3 years. Congratulations to all concerned.

Dennis - Tiverton

We visited Bampton as part of our house search, and followed it up with a " just in case" search for a web site. We did not expect that the site would be so professional and give us such a comprehensive view of "whats on".
Well done!

Now of course we would like to live in the locality even more!
Steve & Ruth

Congratulations on an interesting and comprehensive site!
Although you provide links to the Devon History Society and the Devon Records Centre I think you should consider starting a specific Bampton Genealogy Message Board. I visited Bampton last year principally because my mother's family (Webber) originated there. Since then I have had communication with others holding similar interests.
I appreciate that the local on-line inhabitants may have reservations (particularly a fear of being bombarded with requests for information). However, the message board may also provide them with some interesting family connections.
Comanche, Texas.

Hello- I have enjoyed going through your website, reading the history and comparing the map to when I lived there as a youngster, from 1941-1944. I remember when they took away the iron railings around the houses for the war effort (one of the houses on High Street opposite the Pastry Shop)
The owner had a large coin, I think it was a two penny bit. I was one of the refugees living at "The Old House" on Frog Street. Can you please tell me how old is that farm building ? While there I went to the Junior School then in 1944 I attended the big school on the hill.


Dear Bamptonians,
My Mum keeps me in touch with some of Bampton's goings-on and I was delighted to find your web page.
I have attached a few photos of Bampton Fair 1973:
The first one has a shot of 47, Brook St taken from what use to be the grocer's shop.
The second one includes the same grocery shop (I forget their name) taken from 47, Brook St.
The third one is taken out the front of 47, Brook St.
The fourth one, a similar view, was taken on a non Fair Day.
I hope these photo are of interest for you.
Kind regards
Christine Lux (nee White ex-resident of 47, Brook Street now living in Australia).
The photos can be found on the Bampton Fair pages, and also the Bridges page.

I am contacting you as promised to let you know how much our family (all 17 of us!!) enjoyed doing your quiz when we stayed near Bampton at the end of July. It took us a few trips in to Bampton before we were able to find most of the pictures but it gave us the opportunity to get to know Bampton and to talk with some of the residents who were all very friendly and helpful. We left a copy of the quiz in the house where we stayed so I'm sure you'll get many more quizzers wandering around soon!

Thanks again,

By chance, this family met the webmaster and sought advice on the more difficult places to find! Alison had made posters of the pictures from the quiz so that they could carry them around. The family, down here for a family gathering, included members from Australia.

You have captured the timeless tranquil charm of the West of England, a place I plan to visit one day as my own father grew up in Devon.

Bob (Baltimore, USA)

Just like to say what a fantastic web-site you have about your village. I have looked at lots in and around the Tiverton area and have been able to find all the information I needed about Bampton from just your one site. I frequently end up doing many searches. (Houses, business, school, community etc.)

Thanks again, will definitely come to visit when I am next over that way. (Only made it into Tiverton last weekend).


PS. What about a comments or guest book section? (Which led to this comments page)

Congratulations on winning the award for your excellent web-site - I wondered whether you would like to write an article for Village Green and share the good news around the county? (Article written and published)


500 hits really surprised me - I didn't think the internet was that efficient! I imagine that people are becoming more skilled at using it. Many thanks for your support over the folk music festival publicity, it was greatly appreciated.
Best Wishes

Just wanted to express my appreciation for your excellent web-site. We are currently house-hunting in the Bampton area and have found it invaluable. We currently live nr Cambridge and do not know the area at all so everything has been scanned with interest for the insight it can give us. Thank you for all your hard work.
Saffron Walden, Essex

I was just looking at your site, which we judged as a winner for the Village of the Year IT awards last year (and indeed helped John Humphrys present the award we are in the picture!), and thought that you don't link back to!! So here are a number of links you may find useful. (Links now added)

I hope all continues well in your lovely village
all the best

I got round to looking at the Bampton Web-site. again and I was really impressed. Much for the same reason I looked at the Exmoor Tourist Association web-site. and it is not a PATCH on the Bampton one! Congratulations - I wasted far too much time looking at all the interesting entries! (We couldn't possibly comment!)

Congratulations about the IT award.

You will find your link at
Using the main menu on the left select "Far South West" and a map for Devon and Cornwall will appear. From this click on Devon and then on "Mid Devon" You will find a section of Towns and Town Councils in the District of Mid Devon, clicking on "Bampton" will take you to your URL.
All the best
British Towns Network

We heard about your site after you won an award recently. We were impressed with your site and wondered if you would be kind enough to put a link to us in your web-site. perhaps in the local businesses section?

We have already put a link to you on our links page.

Best wishes

I have just browsed your web-site. and was impressed by its ease to use. The photos of Bampton are fantastic and there are some many interesting things to do, like going to the Tiverton museum.

And from the other side of the world.

I am discovering the internet for the first time at a computer course and am amazed at how much information is available.
I was delighted to find that Bampton had its own web-page on the internet. I loved your web page especially as I was born in School Close, Bampton in 1964 and my father was the art teacher at the "Big School". My family emigrated to New Zealand in 1972 but I've only been back once in the mid 1980s for a flying visit. Bampton has really changed a lot from when I was a child so I'm thankful for my memories of how it looked then., but very interested in what it looks like now and how other people feel about the lovely village.
Cheers and kia ora from New Zealand
Rebecca Smith (daughter of Derek and Ann Smith)

I am ashamed to admit that I visited your page for the first time today. I am amazed at the width of the content and at the clear evidence of constant updating.


Like to send us comments, criticisms, or suggestions for the Bampton web-site?

Then email us!


Bampton Heritage & Visitor Centre

Walkers are welcome

Tourist Information