Huntingdonshire District Council

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Brampton

 

Immediately to the south west of Huntingdon is Brampton.  A growing village with several housing schemes including those built to accommodate personnel from RAF Brampton.  The new housing complements the old village with its beautiful medieval Church of St. Mary Magdalene and the village also has school halls as well as a recreation ground and children's play area.

Within the village and close to the church is the impressive 16th Century farmhouse known as Pepys Farmhouse where Samuel Pepys was a frequent visitor to his uncle who farmed here.  Although better known as the diarist Samuel Pepys was also Clerk of the Acts of the Navy in 1660 and later Secretary for the Navy in 1673.

In the High Street, the Grange Hotel is a fine 19th Century building used during the war as part of the headquarters of the USAAF 1st Air Division which was responsible for planning all bomber missions from East Anglian American airbases.  It remained with the USAF until the spring of 1945 when it was taken over by the RAF as the Headquarters of the Technical Training Command.  The Grange became a hotel in 1980.

Village pubs include the Dragoon, and next to the church the late 16th Century Black Bull where Samuel Pepys is said to have been a customer.  On one of the walls in the restaurant is an extract from his writing praising the landlady Goody Stankers beer "fresh with a taste of worme wood which ever after did please me very well".

Brampton also benefits from excellent public footpaths some of which lead to the river and to Brampton Wood, an ancient wood, on a hill overlooking the village to the west of the A1 road.  The wood, full of wildlife is carefully managed by the Wildlife Trust and is open to the public.

Brampton also has Hinchingbrooke Country Park within its many amenities and also Portholme Meadow of 257 acres (104 hectares).  Reputed to be the largest open meadow in the country Portholme is registered as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).  In 1910 the meadow was used as a site for Bleriot Airplanes and during the First World War as a Royal Flying Corps training station.

The village is proud of its sporting facilities.  There are the Memorial playing fields with cricket and football pitches, newly refurbished and extensive changing facilities, skate park and basketball area, a bowling green, an 18 hole golf course and also Huntingdon Race Course which was moved to its present site from Portholme Meadow in 1890.
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