Sitting peacefully in the little country village of Clifton Hampden in Abingdon, the Barley Mow is possibly one of England’s oldest and most extraordinary pubs.

The Barley Mow is a thatched country tavern in the little village of Clifton Hampden. More than 650 years old, the pub is packed with original features and visitors have admired and enjoyed this country inn for centuries, including renowned writers like Jerome K. Jerome and Charles Dickens Jnr.

Stepping inside this glorious thatched tavern is like taking a step back in time. The Barley Mow pub shows off a host of original features including low beams and an old fireplace so large it fits across two different parts of the pub. It is an ideal setting for couples longing for a relaxing meal by candlelight.With the River Thames just minutes away, the Barley Mow is an ideal place to stop and relax if you are enjoying a stroll, bike ride or boat trip along the river. Our superb menu offers traditional pub food and seasonal dishes that cater for the whole family.


The Barley Mow is a storybook pub nestled in the picturesque little village and civil parish of Clifton Hampden, just over 3 miles east of Abingdon, Oxfordshire. Originally a farming community, the area rests peacefully on the north bank of the River Thames. The river’s pathway is filled with 17th century thatched cottages and the sweet scent of honeysuckle. Famous English writer, Jerome K. Jerome, depicted this part of the River Thames area beautifully in his classic 1889 book Three Men in a Boat as “the wonderfully pretty village, old fashioned, peaceful and dainty with flowers.”

In Anglo Saxon times Clifton Hampden was known as ‘tun on a cliff’ (town on a cliff), a name allegedly given because of the rock face that stands above the rest of the village. Perched on the top of this cliff, just 5 minutes from the Barley ?Mow pub, is the historic Church of St Michael & All Angels, a chapel of the Dorchester parish until the 19th century. Sir George Gilbert Scott, an English gothic revival architect rebuilt and restored the majority of this historic building in 1844. However, a few of the original features of the church have survived, including the arcade of the south aisle, which was built around 1180. In another area of the church they still have 13th century lancet windows designed in the Early English style.

Another building in Clifton Hampden that is blessed with a long and rich history is the Barlow M?ow inn. The delightfully snug pub restaurant has been garnering praise for hundreds of years, including from renowned writers like Charles Dickens Jr. In 1879, he described the Barley Mow in Dickens’s Dictionary of the Thames as a “capital little inn” and “one of the thatched, old fashioned resting places which have been almost improved out of existence by the modern system of hotels.”

The quaint little tavern is very popular with the boaters, cyclers and walkers that pass by on the Thames, and it is easy to see why. Within walking distance of the river’s bridge, Barley Mow invites you in to a quiet old world inn with a storybook appearance thanks to its low-pitched gables, thatched roof and latticed windows. The building itself is a beautiful timber framed construction that claims to be over 650 years old and has been a grade II listed building since 1963.

Originally two old farmed cottages, the Barley Mow is now an inspired blend of old and new. Inside there are splashes of modern design, which are complemented by an ancient low beamed ceiling and a fireplace so large it stretches across two separate parts of the tavern.

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Barley Mow

Clifton Hampden, Oxfordshire, OX14 3EH


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Pub Facilities

  • Beer Garden
  • Car Parking
  • Family Friendly
  • Historic Pub

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