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Capturing the Charm: Filming of Downton Abbey in Bampton, Oxfordshire, Near the Cotswolds

Updated: Jul 2, 2023

The picturesque village of Bampton, nestled in the heart of Oxfordshire near the Cotswolds, has captivated the world as the backdrop for the beloved TV series "Downton Abbey." With its quintessential English charm and well-preserved historical architecture, Bampton has become a favorite location for filming the hit period drama, transporting viewers to the early 20th century and the fictional world of the Crawley family.

A Step Back in Time:

As fans of "Downton Abbey" are well aware, the grand estate portrayed in the series is actually Highclere Castle, located in Hampshire. However, the village of Bampton stands in for the fictional Downton village, showcasing its beautiful streets and buildings in numerous scenes throughout the show. The village's timeless ambiance and unspoiled character make it an ideal setting for the story's narrative.

Bampton's Architectural Gems:

One of the highlights of filming in Bampton is its remarkable architecture, which perfectly reflects the period in which "Downton Abbey" is set. The most recognizable landmark is the St. Mary's Church, with its iconic tower that can be spotted in several episodes. This medieval church, dating back to the 12th century, provides an impressive backdrop for many memorable scenes.

Another architectural gem in Bampton is the Bampton Library, formerly known as the Grammar School. This historic building, dating back to 1624, has appeared in "Downton Abbey" as the Downton Cottage Hospital, where numerous dramatic moments unfolded. Its timeless façade adds depth and character to the show's portrayal of the village.

Embracing the Cotswolds Charm:

Bampton's proximity to the Cotswolds further enhances its appeal as a filming location. The rolling hills, picturesque villages, and idyllic countryside of the Cotswolds perfectly complement the aesthetic of "Downton Abbey." The production team often takes advantage of the region's natural beauty, incorporating it into exterior shots and outdoor scenes, further immersing viewers in the world of the Crawley family.

Bampton's Role Beyond "Downton Abbey":

While Bampton's association with "Downton Abbey" has undoubtedly put it on the map, the village has a rich history and offers much more to visitors. The Bampton Heritage and Visitor Centre provides a deeper insight into the village's past, displaying artifacts and information about its fascinating heritage. Visitors can explore the village on foot, following the "Downton Abbey" walking tour, which takes them to key filming locations.

Thanks to its charming architecture, timeless beauty, and enchanting surroundings, the village of Bampton, Oxfordshire, has become an integral part of "Downton Abbey's" success. The convergence of the show's captivating narrative and Bampton's idyllic setting has truly brought the fictional world of Downton to life. Whether you're a die-hard fan or a casual visitor, a trip to Bampton is a delightful opportunity to step back in time and immerse yourself in the magic of "Downton Abbey."

Platform Design Oxford have a furniture store and workshop located within Bampton, not far from the film sights of Downton Abbey.

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