An abandoned village in Oxfordshire

10th March 2016


Last week I took a visit to the abandoned village of Hampton Gay, all that remains of the place is a ruined manor house and church. The outline of the former village can be seen as raised plots in the fields. The name Gay originates from the de Gay family, former Lords of the Manor there in the 12th century. Hampton, or hamm tun is an old Anglo Saxon word meaning hamlet by the water meadow.

Hampton Gay is bordered by the River Cherwell, where it meanders through an alluvial flood-plain that is seldom less than 200 yards wide and in some parts well over twice that width. This has prevented the building of roads directly on to the lands, which means even today the only way to get to the village is via by a footbridge or two and over several fields. Which of course all adds to the atmospheric, abandoned nature of the place.

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