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A brief history of Hampton Gay

1086 - 2018

The History of Hampton Gay

Once a thriving estate that goes back to Saxon times, with a paper mill a large Elizabethan Manor House a Church and a village with 86 inhabitants. Now all you can see is the gently undulating folds of the grass where the houses once stood. And Hampton Gay has reverted to a small quiet hamlet of four houses with a mixed farm at its core.


Entry in the Domesday Book

Owned by the Crown and Roger D'Ivry. Tenanted by Rainald and later by the De Gay family, hence the name Hampton meaning village and Gay the family name.

1170 -1539

Knights Templar

Reginald de Gay gave land to The Knights Templar then in 1311 their holding was transferred to Knights Hospitalier of St John of Jerusalem. Land was also owned by the Augustian Abbey of Osney. The Abbey forfeited their land to the Crown with the Dissolution of the Monastries in 1539


Barry Family

The land was sold in 1544 to John Barry of Eynsham, he built the manor house, the form of which remained unaltered until the 19th century.  He eventually got into financial difficulties and sold it in 1682

1682 - 1862

Hindes Family to Wadham College Oxford

The new owner was Sir Richard Wenman, MP who in 1686 became 4th Viscount Wenman. Wenman died in 1690 and his widow sold Hampton Gay in 1691 to William Hindes of Priors Marston in Warwickshire. The Hindes family owned Hampton Gay until 1798 when Susannah, widow of Thomas Hindes, died without a male heir and left the manor to their daughter Anne and her husband. The manor changed hands again in 1809 and 1849, and in 1862 was bought by Wadham College, Oxford.


Shipton and Cherwell train crash

The Shipton-on-Cherwell train crash, one of the worst accidents in British railway history, occurred near the village in 1874. Workers at a paper mill in Hampton Gay assisted the injured, and the inquest took place at Hampton Gay manor.


Manor Gutted by Fire 

in 1887 the Manor was gutted by fire. It has never been restored and remains an ivy-clad ruin. It is a Grade II listed building and a scheduled monument.


The Reeves Family 

The Reeves family become tenant farmers running the farm as a mixed farm and eventually buying it in the mid seventies.

1st April 2016

Thompson Family

The Thompson family buy the farm.

The Church

Evidence of a church dates from 1074 the present church of St Giles was built in 1774. It is still in use once a month for seven months from Spring to Summer with the congregation walking across the fields from neighbouring villages.

The Manor Ruins

The ruined Elizabethan manor of Hampton Gay sits looking mysterious yet romantic in its own dilapitated parkland. A source of many photos its once gothic splendour can still be discerned through the ivy covered doorway. 

The Paper Mill

In Medieval times the mill was a simple grain mill serving the estate. The building of the Oxford canal and Oxford City's increasing prominence in book publishing led to a huge local demand for paper and it became a paper mill. Destroyed twice by fire it eventually closed down and now all that can be seen is the old mill race.