Four-Star Bed and Breakfast, Bampton, Oxfordshire
Wheelgate House, Market Square, Bampton Oxfordshire OX18 2JH
Tel. 01993 851151 - Mob. 07747 466151 - enquiries@wheelgatehouse.co.uk

History

While Bampton is now a village it was a thriving market town until the 19th century. Archaeologists believe it is one of the oldest settlements in England with evidence of a community here during the Iron Age.

Bampton is mentioned in the Doomsday Book of 1086 which talks of a market here, suggesting it was even then an important town. The author Melvin R. Starr has written a series of novels, or rather medieval mysteries, set in Bampton which conjure up a colourful picture of what life may have been like during the 14th century. At that time there was a castle, the remains of which now form part of a private house. The Town Hall, originally built during the 19th century, is in the centre of the Market Square.

In the 1950s there were thirteen pubs in the village. Only four remain today, they play host to some of the many traditions which have built up over the years. The biggest event of the year is the Morris Dancing Festival on Spring Bank Holiday Monday when locals and visitors can follow the dancers around the village and watch them perform in private gardens as well as in the streets.

There is an annual fete and donkey derby on August Bank Holiday Monday while on Christmas Eve the 'Mummers' perform in local houses and the village pubs. Other highlights of the year include a shirt race, a local craft and produce competition. A small fun fair visits in the summer.

Wheelgate House was built about 250 years ago by a Maltster, Richard Haskins. It was home to the village Post Office for some years until the 1970s. Situated on the Market Square opposite the War Memorial it is within easy walking distance of Bampton’s attractions. Biz bought the house in 2005 and has welcomed guests since the summer of 2006.

A little from Biz

I became interested in the hospitality trade in the 1970s when living in London and attending Chelsea School of Art. When not at college, I worked front of house in restaurants and first learned to cook professionally at the Portobello Hotel when a cook was required in the Chef's absence.

After returning to Oxfordshire, I cooked in various wine bars and restaurants including Brotherton's Wine Bar in Woodstock and the original 'Millets Munchery' at Millets Farm. Keen to return to my design roots, I trained in kitchen design, working for Gramlick Designs, John Lewis of Hungerford and freelance which I still do today.

I worked in our family business in the 1990s through to 2005 which included setting up and running Bampton Garden Plants. I have always loved home, bringing up my two children and welcoming guests, making their stay comfortable, enjoyable and a very special one.