Downton Abbey creator praises 'generous' Bampton residents

Downton Abbey star Dan Stevens and director Ben Bolt film a scene in Bampton

Julian Fellowes

First published in News

Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes has praised the residents of an Oxfordshire village for their continued support since the series started filming there in 2010.

Bampton is a key location for the BAFTA-nominated show, which will return for a fourth series in the autumn.

The village library and St Mary’s church both feature as backdrops in the popular period drama.

The cast and crew recently left the village, although they are expected to return in the summer. Lord Fellowes, right, said the people of Bampton had been very accommodating during filming.

He said: “I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the people of Bampton, because I’m sure when we started filming it was fun, but even when the village centre was closed again and the residents couldn’t park their cars and the yellow lines were painted out again, they have never complained and have been hugely generous over the years.”

Residents have to put up with a certain amount of disruption when the film crew is in town. As well as parking restrictions some villagers also have modern parts of their homes, such as outside lights, temporarily removed.

Denis Banbury, 76, of Church Street, said: “We’ve enjoyed having them. There have been pluses and minuses – for example we’ve had to park away – but it’s not been a real inconvenience. It’s been relatively easy to live with Downton.”

Mr Banbury added the crew who removed his outside light had taken a photo of the house beforehand to ensure it could be put back exactly as it had been.

He also said his front door, which was previously white, had been painted dark green to fit in with the rest of the street although he has the option of changing it back free of charge when filming finishes.

Businesses in Bampton have also been largely untroubled by Downton Abbey. Yasar Iletmis, manager of Bampton Coffee House in Market Square, said: “They park outside the village and come in by minibus. I’ve not had any problems at all.

“People know us all over the world. People who come into the coffee shop are proud.”

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