Photograph by Hampton Gay Story 2010

Hampton Gay is situated in the Cherwell Valley close to the River Cherwell, and is 1.5 miles north of Kidlington, Oxfordshire.

The village has a church called St Giles which opens 4 times a year, a derelict manor house and the remains of a mill last in use 1887. The mill was recorded in 1219 and originally belonged to Osney Abbey

There is a farmhouse built early 17th century with outbuildings which is still a working farm and is opposite a row of residential cottages.

The manor house, church and farmhouse plus outbuildings are all listed buildings. 


Alongside the church is the Oxford to Banbury railway line, it was here on Christmas Eve 1874 that there was the biggest railway crash in the country up to that time.

The name Hampton in old English means village or farm, and the name Gay comes from the De Gay families that were lords of the manor in the 12th Century.

Hampton Gay has a very long history and is mentioned in the Domesday Book and is also listed as Hantune.

In 1086 Hampton Gay had two estates , 3 hides belonging to Robert d'Ivry and 2 hides held by Rainald who was Robert d'Ivry's tenant. ( A hide is thought to be a measurement of about 100 acres).

Around 1137 Robert de Gay was tenant of both the Hampton estates, and it was he who founded the monastery at Otley. The de Gays had Hampton Gay approx 1137 – 1222. The land was then given to three religious orders over the years including Osney Abbey. This lasted till 1539 when the dissolution happened 1536 -1541 (also known as the Suppression of the Monasteries when Henry V111 made himself Supreme Head of the Church in England by disbanding all monasteries, priories and convents in England, Ireland and Wales).

In 1542 the Crown sold the land to Leonard Chamberlayne, who re-sold it to John Barry of Eynsham in 1544 for £1,100.

Bartholomew Steere of Hampton Poyle plotted to revolt against Vincent Barry and his daughter. Richard Bradshaw a miller from Hampton Gay spread the word amongst people from as far away as Rycote and Witney, many of them employees of Vincent Barry. This was because of the Enclosure act where strips of common land were taken and joined together to make more land for the wealthy landowners. This took much of the working land away from the poorer people leaving them with very little land and often it was of poor quality so it could not be used for farming or keeping stock on. The plan was to meet on Enslow Hill but on the day only 10 people turned up, meanwhile Roger Symonds, a HG carpenter informed Barry of the plot who was able to get help in to stop it happening. Five men were arrested and sent to London, one being sentenced to being hanged and quartered. 

The Tillage Act of 1597 cancelled out the Enclosures and included land in Oxfordshire being converted back to pasture so that there was a fairness in quality land being available to the poorer people as well.


1676 - Compton census - 28 adults

1811 - 13 houses occupied by 17 families

1821 - Peaked to 86 inhabitants

1851 - 17 houses

1861 - population was 67

1887 - Fell to 30 inhabitants after destruction of the manor house

1901 - 6 houses

1955 - 14 parishioners

This site was written and created by Sally Bridgman and Jon Smart. If you would like to reproduce any of the information, please contact us. Copyright © 2010