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home > Towns & Villages > About Abingdon on Thames > Clifton Hampden

Clifton Hampden

Clifton Hampden is an attractive Thames-side village about 4.5 miles south west of Abingdon on the A415, and about 1.5 miles north of Long Wittenham. Since 1932 the civil parish has included the village of Burcot, 1 mile (1.6 km) east of Clifton Hampden.

The name was originally simply "Clifton", meaning "tun on a cliff" in Old English. There is no documentation for the "Hampden" part of the name from before 1726.

In the Anglo-Saxon era Clifton belonged to the Bishop of Dorchester. After the Norman conquest of England William the Conqueror transferred the see to Lincoln, with its properties including Clifton. From at least the early part of the 14th century there was a ferry across the Thames between the village and Long Wittenham.

Several cottages in the village survive from the later part of the 16th and early part of the 17th centuries. By 1726 the village had three pubs. By 1786 there was one called the Fleur de Lys, and this was still in business by 1864. The Plough beside Abingdon Road was a public house by 1821 it still trades under the same name but is now a restaurant.The village hall was built in 1896.

Clifton Hampden Cricket Club plays in Oxfordshire Cricket Association Division Three.

The village has a couple of traditional shops like independent village shop, post office and a GP’s practice.
The village shop is often described as an "Aladdin's Cave” they stock everything from jewellery to shoelaces, bake fresh bread, croissant and pasties on site everyday, sell old-fashioned sweets by the 1/4lb out of jars and offer a wide range of cards and gifts.

They also stock local produce, including a very popular local beer and fabulous Honey. They offer organic, environmentally friendly and fairtrade products as an alternative where possible. All this and a good general grocery section for those last minute emergencies.

Claim to fame:

The famous Barley Mow Inn was described in Jerome K Jerome's Three Men in a Boat. The Inn dates back to 1352.

The band known as 'On a Friday' used to practice in the village hall when they first got together. They later evolved into Radiohead, gaining critical acclaim, legions of fans and selling millions of albums worldwide.

The village has a Longbow Archery Society which is well known is the village and has been used frequently.  

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