History of the Hamptons
The Hamptons are set in a historic landscape whose story stretches back 160 million years to the Jurassic Age.
During the Jurassic, a tropical sea covered the land where the Hamptons now stand. Its rocks gave rise to the rich Oxford clay underlying the Hamptons, which is packed with Jurassic fossils. Plesiosaurs, pliosaurs, ichthysaurs and marine crocodiles excavated from the former Hamptons brickpits can be seen in museums across Europe and the US. The local Peterborough Museum has a good selection.
Bricks that built Britain
Oxford clay has been prized for building since Roman times, and the Hamptons was once a centre of a thriving brickmaking industry. In 1850, the opening of the Great Northern Railway main line through Peterborough made it possible to distribute the local Fletton bricks nationwide, and the area was the UK's leading producer of bricks for much of the 20th century.
A natural habitat with a difference
The brick industry’s unique legacy is embedded in the Hamptons’ landscape. Elsewhere, brick companies dug down to extract clay. But around the Hamptons, where clay was close to the surface, they scooped it out in a series of strips, creating a landscape of ridges and furrows. These have filled with water to create shallow ponds which are now ideal habitats for a wide range of rare and unusual wildlife and plants.
A developer with less vision might have chosen to level and reclaim all this land. Instead, O&H Hampton has worked closely with landscape architects and wildlife organisations to preserve a priceless historical and environmental legacy for everyone to enjoy.