Brampton, Huntingdonshire

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Brampton, Church of St Mary Magdalene - - 226508.jpg
St Mary's, Brampton
Grid reference: TL205705
Location: 52°19’10"N, 0°14’1"W
Post town: Huntingdon
Postcode: PE28
Dialling code: 01480
Local Government
Council: Huntingdonshire

Brampton is a village in Huntingdonshire. It stands on the River Great Ouse near Godmanchester south west of Huntingdon.

Brampton is most famously associated with Samuel Pepys, the Chief Secretary to the Admiralty and diarist whose house, Brampton House, still stands outside the village on the road to Huntingdon.[1] A local legend has it that his fortune is buried somewhere in the village [2] Brampton House was home to Robert Pepys, Samuel's brother, and later inherited by Samuel Papeys and used by him as an occasional home. Pepys was known also to have stayed at the Black Bull Inn in the village.

RAF Brampton lies on the edge of the village, an important employer for the village.

The great meadow of Port Holme lies within the Parish of Brampton.

Parish church

The Church of St Mary Magdalene or St Mary the Virgin (as it was once called), consists of a chancel with a north vestry, nave, north aisle, south aisle, west tower and north and south porches. This church is mentioned in the Domesday survey of 1086, but, with the exception of a few parts dating from the 12th century, no part of the current structure is earlier than the 14th century.


Brampton is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, which records that there was a church and priest at Brampton in 1086. Brampton’s name has been variously recorded as: Brantune (11th century), Brantone, Bramptone (12th-13th century), Brauntone, Brampton (13th century)

At one time the higher part of Brampton parish was forest but now fewer than 300 acres of woodland remain. Brampton is generally low-lying, mostly being about 33 feet above sea-level, although the ground rises towards the south west boundary where it reaches a dizzying 164 feet.

The pre-history of the parish may be more grizzly. Scattered Human remains dating back perhaps 1,600–2,000 years have been found in one or more gardens of houses near the local primary school. The exact origin has yet to be determined.

RAF Brampton

RAF Brampton lay immediately to the south of the village, and in time grew to be as large as Brampton itself. It was a non-flying station for most of its life, housing RAF Support Command amongst other operations.

The site was formerly part of the estates of Lord Mandeville. During the First World War a prisoner of war camp was built here, though it reverted to domestic use after the armistice. During the early years of the Second World War, it became a camp for housing evacuees from London.

In 1942, the Royal Air Force acquired the site and the United States Army Air Corps First Bomb Wing Headquarters was established here until the end of the War. Later, the Royal Air Force Technical Training Command billeted staff here (as 'Brampton Park'): the Command HQ was located at Brampton Grange. In 1955, Brampton Park became 'RAF Brampton' and non-flying units were located here, including the Central Reconnaissance Establishment, was formed at Brampton in January 1957. Other units which came to be based at Brampton include RAF Support Command and the Defence Intelligence Fusion Centre (before it relocated to RAF Wyton in 2013).

In 2009, the Ministry of Defence decided that Brampton was surplus to requirements. On April 2012, RAF Brampton was renamed 'Brampton Camp', coming under the control of Joint Forces Command and RAF Wyton. The station closed at the end of 2013 and was mainly demolished in 2016 and 2017 to make way for housing.