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Quebec Cottage, 2018

  • BCA - 2022.3669
  • Item
  • 2018

Quebec Cottage, home of Miss Kelsie, in 2018

Nik Stanbridge

Church Street in 1998

  • BCA - 2019.2204
  • Item
  • 1998

These photographs were all taken by John Grout in 1998 to record Church Street as it looked in that year.

Bampton Community Archive

After Market Square Garage was removed, before Thornberry Flats were built

  • BCA - 2019.2202
  • Item
  • 1998

These pictures, all taken by John Grout, record the brief moment in time where the Market Square Garage was totally removed and before Thornberry Flats were built on the site. Bell Cottage, the little thatched house is clearly visible.

Bampton Community Archive

The Demolition of Market Square Garage & the building of Thornberry Flats (Nov 1998 to 2000)

  • BCA - 2017.586
  • Item
  • 1998 to 2000

Adrian Simmonds had the general store on the west side of Market Square and was wonderfully placed to record the demolition of the Market Square Garage and the building of Thornberry Flats for the over 55s.

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The demolition of Market Square Garage and the building of “THORNBERRY” Flats

The Demolition of the Garage and Proposed Development of Flats

A meeting was called by the parish council, because there was a lot of opposition to the proposed development and the loss of the garage. On the evening of the meeting the hall opened with the parish council seated at a table in front of the stage, but the hall very quickly filled with interested villagers, so that the council had to retreat to the comparative safety on the stage. The hall by this time had filled up with very interested and angry villagers, so much so that the windows were all opened so that the people who could not get in, could hear and see what was going on from outside. Opinions were voiced. The meeting went on for a long time. The view was that the village was against the development. The result of course stands in the square for all to see, but Democracy had to been seen to be done. The then chairman of the Parish Council shortly afterwards emigrated to Australia.

This small exhibition shows a brief period of around thirty months in the late Twentieth Century which altered the character of the Market Square completely. I have included some earlier photographs of the Square for those of you that did not know it before the flats were built. The picture of the pub [with the two children outside] was The Lamb Public house, and the building on the end was at one time a Fish and Chip shop. It was demolished in the 1950s in order to build the Market Square Garage, which in turn was demolished in 1998/1999 for the erection of the Flats. These were offered for sale on the 30th June 2001.

After the garage was demolished there was a period of several months, when the soil was tested regularly because of contamination by oil and other garage waste from the previous 50 plus years. During this period, over forty large lorry loads of contaminated soil were removed and replaced with clean soil. The site was then passed as suitable for the building to start.

After the holes were drilled, each one had a frame work of reinforcing rods {which were welded together on site} lowered into it. Then cement was poured into the holes up to footings level. Then, of course, the footings were laid and the main structure was started.
After the pre-made floor of the first storey was installed, the building was taken up to the next level, and the same procedure was repeated for the top floor.

The Flats were offered for Sale 30th June 2001. As a small point of interest, the first occupier of the front ground floor flat was a member of a local business family, who had at one time a grocery shop in the premises which is now known as The Romany hotel. The wife of the second occupier of the same flat was the daughter of the landlord of The Lamb which stood on the site up until the 1950s.

The Flats and Skateboards
Shortly after the flats were in full occupancy, it was decided to add a pair of gates to the front of the arch, because of teenagers using the entrance to skateboard through the archway and across the small garden in order to jump onto the footpath at the rear of the property. This was before the skateboard ramp was built in the sports field.

These pictures show the work and expertise in building the flats (Thornberry). I also included some earlier photographs to illustrate the appearance of the square in the past. With all the changes that have taken place the square is still the centre and heart of the village. It is a meeting place for countless people and is used for special occasions such as the Golden and Diamond jubilee celebrations, and of course for the finishing post for the annual shirt race which always attracts a large crowd. The Morris dancers use it every Whit Monday. The annual fair comes every August, and of course Remembrance Day in November, and the lighting of the Christmas tree in December also take place in the Market Square.

Postscript.
Those of you that know me would have probably noticed that my surname was incorrectly spelt, on the posters. This is a common error as there are so many ways of spelling “Simmonds”. My grandfather left Reading in the 1920s with two M’s to his name leaving behind an H. G. Simonds with only one M, and a Brewery and a fortune! I still have only two Ms in my name, which prompts me to recall a situation in my shop.
Some years ago, I had an American lady who was a regular customer. After a few months she said to me would I take a cheque? To which I replied, “of course”. She made her purchases and proceeded to write the cheque asking me how I spelt my surname? I told her, and she said to me, “That’s interesting, I have five great uncles, back in the states all named Simmonds but all spelt differently. When they arrived in New York from Eastern Europe they embarked at Ellis Island and each went to an immigration officer to give their details and each officer spelt their name differently, so it ended up with five brothers with the same name, all spelt differently.”

The were first available to buy in 2002 and people have to be at least 55 years old to purchase them. The lane is Bell Lane, known by all long-time locals as 'back of the Bell' because the Bell Inn used to be where the Village Hall is today. The Village Hall was initially the WI Hall straight after the Bell closed before becoming the Village Hall when the cost of upkeep was just too much for the WI.

Bampton Community Archive

Elephant & Castle Inn pre fire of 1958 and after

  • BCA - 2022.3382
  • Series
  • 1930 1990

The Elephant and Castle Inn was a thatched building until fire ripped through it September 30th 1958. The following day firemen Son Townsend from Castle View farm and Cyril Weeks from the Horse Shoe went to help clear up and in the photo the two boys are also from the Horse Shoe Inn in Bampton.
At one time in late C20th Joan and Lionel were the landlord and landlady and they can be seen behind the bar with Dora Townsend, sister of Son the fireman.
The Elephant & Castle Inn after the fire in September 1958. It was started by a rocket firework let off well before bonfire night. People with thatched roofs used to soak them with a hose pipe before the evening on a bonfire night if it hadn't rained.
The Elephant and Castle in Bridge Street before the fire in 1958 after which it was rebuilt with a tiled roof. A protective wall was built in front of it in the 1970s to stop people from spilling out and straight on to the road. The handsome Elm tree in the background was lost to Dutch Elm Disease in the 1970s.
The Elephant and Castle Inn on Bridge Street.
A horse and cart outside the Elephant & Castle on Bridge Street, circa 1940s Elephant and Castle date unknown but a fire destroyed the roof in 1958 and was replaced with stone tiles. [postcard].
Elephant and Castle with Mrs Penny at the door
Ducks on Mill Green with Bridge House on the left next to The Elephant and Castle in the background.
Joan & Lionel, landlords of the Elephant & Castle, with Dora Townsend in the middle
Firemen clearing up Sept 30th 1958 after the fire at the Elephant and Castle. Son Townsend from across the road at Castle Farm and Cyril Weeks. The two boys from the Horse Shoe Inn.
The Elephant and Castle Inn with no wall in front to stop people falling out of the door straight into the road in 1965. The two bay windows have also gone now.

Janet Rouse

Sandford House

  • BCA - 2022.3455
  • Item
  • 2022

Sandford House

Nik Stanbridge

Sales brochure for Weald Manor 1880 and again 1886

  • BCA - 2019.1953
  • Item
  • 1880 1886

Sale notice for Weald Manor on June 4th 1880 and another sale noticeFreehold & Tithe-Free pasture & arable land for sale August 2nd 1886

Bampton Community Archive

Renovation and building works to the Old Grammar School

  • BCA - 2022.3387
  • Item
  • 2022

After a magnificent fundraising effort, this historic building was completely reroofed in the Summer of 2017.

Now thanks to lots more hard work and generous support from the landlords (Bampton Exhibition Foundation), WODC and all our visitors, sufficient funds have been raised to carry out our long-planned improvements to the interior of the Old Grammar School.

A new staircase will create access to the wonderful upstairs space which hasn’t been accessible since the early 1960’s.

This new space will be used to display information on the history of the village of Bampton and related activities. In addition, we will encourage local groups to utilize the space for community talks, workshops etc.

Upstairs we will also install the latest technology to allow individuals and groups to access and research the substantial Bampton Archive. The space and furniture will be modular and totally flexible to create a fantastic community space and we will encourage the locals to explore, use and get involved.

The space and furniture will be modular and totally flexible to create a fantastic community space and we will encourage locals to explore, use and get involved in it.

Downstairs a new door to access the Vesey Room will be created and the room itself will be sensitively refurbished and fitted out with new storage and display furniture. We will continue to sell our fantastic range of Bampton Archive books and catalogues, an excellent range of local arts, crafts, cards, prints and memorabilia. We would like to introduce an enhanced range of items for sale made or produced locally.

We will also continue to hold our main exhibitions in this room. Normally we present three exhibitions every year all with a local interest. We also host exhibitions with West Ox Arts.

The library area will also be completely refurbished with the new doorway created beyond the staircase. The latest shelving system is planned which will allow flexible use of the library space and create room for extra book stock. There will be a new counter area and the very latest in computer technology for use by the general public.

A new kitchen area will be created along with downstairs toilet facilities for both the library and Vesey Room. A stair lift is also planned to allow access for all to the upstairs space.

In addition we plan to use the space upstairs and the space in the newly designed library to hold all kinds of events.

We are putting together a regular programme of talks, workshops and small events including but not limited to: Workshops to encourage youngsters to sign up for apprenticeships for some of the historical trades – for example Dry Stone Walling, Carpentry and Joinery, Thatching and Classic Car Restoration. Alternative Medicine – Exploring the Village Herbal, Nature and the Natural World, Environment and Sustainability, Cycling & Walking, Health & Fitness, Wellbeing & Mental Health, Book readings and signings with visiting Authors, Recitals, Creative writing, Children’s events, Local History, Arts & Crafts, IT Access for all, Film Shows, and much more

Nik Stanbridge

Cromwell House in Cheapside, Hilda Kent & Margaret Howse

  • BCA - 2017.1236
  • Item
  • 1990s

Cromwell House is in Cheapside between Exeter House and The Old Forge. Hilda Kent lived there along with Margaret Howse after WWII until their deaths. Hilda did some research on the house and her notes are included in the pdf.

Bampton Community Archive

Sale of 2 dwellings in Church Street 1908

  • BCA - 2019.2203
  • Item
  • 1908

To be sold by auction byRichard Gillettat the Talbot hotel in Bampton on Wednesday March 4th 1908, by order of the trustees under the will of the late George Oakey, and under condition to be then and there produced

Bampton Community Archive

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