Bampton (& Peyton)


A Topographical Dictionary of England


 Samuel Lewis (1831)

Transcript copyright Mel Lockie (Sep 2016)


BAMPTON, a market-town and parish in the hundred of BAMPTON, county of DEVON, 21 miles (N. by B.) from Exeter, and 162 (W. by S.) from London, containing 1633 inhabitants. Bampton is supposed by Bishop Gibson to have been the Beamdune of the Saxon Chronicle, where, in 614, the Britons were defeated with great slaughter by Cynegils, King of the West Saxons. Other antiquaries, referring this event to Bindon in Dorset, derive its names Batherm-town and Bathrumpton from the river Batherm, which flows into the Exe, about three quarters of a mile below the town, whence, by contraction, its present appellation is obtained. The town is pleasantly situated in a vale watered by the river; the houses are of stone, irregularly built, and the inhabitants are amply supplied with water. The principal branch of manufacture is that of serge; and freestone and limestone are obtained in the parish. The market is on Wednesday and Saturday; and fairs are held on Whit-Tuesday, the Wednesday before Lady-day, the last Thursday in October, and the first Tuesday in November; at the two last a great number of sheep is sold, which, from the excellence of the pastures, are remarkable for size and flavour. Two portreeves, two constables, and other officers, are chosen annually by the householders. The living is a discharged vicarage, in the archdeaconry and diocese of Exeter, rated in the king's books at £21. 11., endowed with £400 private benefaction, £400 royal bounty, and £400 parliamentary grant, and in the patronage of Charles Chichester, Esq. The church, dedicated to St. Michael, is a spacious structure, in the early style of English architecture, containing several monuments to the Earls of Bath. At Pitton, four miles distant from the church, there is a chapel, in which divine service is performed once a month; and at Shillingford are the remains of another chapel. There are places of worship for Particular Baptists and Independents. A charity school has been lately built and endowed by Mrs. Penton, in which one hundred children are educated. In the vicinity is a chalybeate spring, strongly impregnated with iron. The site of an ancient castle, erected in 1336, by a member of the family of Cogan, is still discernible. John de Bampton, a Carmelite monk, and the first who read Aristotle publicly at Cambridge, was a native of this town.


PEYTON, a chapelry in the parish of BAMPTON, and hundred of BAMPTON, county of DEVON, 4 miles (N. E.) from Bampton, with which the population is returned.