The historical legend of Brampton and Samuel Pepys fortune
- Credit: ARCHANT
Could Brampton be hiding the fortune of diarist Samuel Pepys? The legend of this quaint village on the outskirts of Huntingdon shows there’s more to it than meets the eye.
Historically, Brampton was known as Brantune (11th Century), Brantone or Bramptone (12th–13th centuries), and Brauntone or Brampton (13th Century).
Scattered human remains dating back 1600 to 2000 years have been found in a few of the gardens of houses near the local primary school.
Brampton had associations with the diarist and naval administrator Samuel Pepys - with legend having it that his fortune is buried somewhere in the village.
It is said that during the panic caused by the Dutch raid on the Medway in 1667 he buried his gold in the garden of Brampton House and was never sure how much of it he had succeeded in recovering.
Brampton was the home of his uncle, Robert Pepys, elder brother of the diarist's father, whose house still stands.
Samuel Pepys is known to have stayed there and at the Black Bull Inn in the village. After Robert's death in 1661, a bitter legal dispute arose over the Brampton inheritance, involving Samuel, his father and several other claimants. It was ultimately settled out of court.
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In the Domesday Book survey of 1086, Brampton was listed as Brantune in the Hundred of Leightonstone in Huntingdonshire.
It had two manors, yielding aggregate rents to their lords of the manors in 1066 of £20, which had increased to £21.5 by 1086.
Domesday recorded a total of 42 households, which gave a population estimate of 125 to 200.
The Church of St Mary Magdalene - earlier St Mary the Virgin - today consists of a chancel with a north vestry, nave, north aisle, south aisle, west tower, and north and south porches.
The existence of the church is mentioned in Domesday, but very few features of today's church date from earlier than the 14th Century.
Brampton has an 18-hole golf course featuring the par-3 4th, a signature hole with a green almost completely surrounded by water, often referred to as England's hardest par-3.
Geoff Capes, the Commonwealth shot-put champion and twice winner of the title World's Strongest Man, served as a police officer in Brampton in the 1970s.