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Chipping Campden is a small market town in the Cotswold district of Gloucestershire, England. It is notable for its elegant terraced High Street, dating from the 14th century to the 17th century. ("Chipping" is from Old English cēping, "a market, a market-place"; the same element is found in other towns such as Chipping Norton, Chipping Sodbury and Chipping (now High) Wycombe.[2])

Chipping Campden
Chipping Campden Church - - 557911.jpg
St James' church
Chipping Campden is located in Gloucestershire
Chipping Campden
Chipping Campden
Location within Gloucestershire
Population2,288 (2011 Census)
OS grid referenceSP155395
Civil parish
  • Chipping Campden Town Council[1]
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtGL55
AmbulanceSouth Western
EU ParliamentSouth West England
UK Parliament
List of places
52°03′07″N 1°46′44″W / 52.052°N 1.779°W / 52.052; -1.779Coordinates: 52°03′07″N 1°46′44″W / 52.052°N 1.779°W / 52.052; -1.779
Chipping Campden Market Hall

A rich wool trading centre in the Middle Ages, Chipping Campden enjoyed the patronage of wealthy wool merchants (see also wool church), most notably William Greville (d.1401). Today it is a popular Cotswold tourist destination with old inns, hotels, specialist shops and restaurants. The High Street is lined with honey-coloured limestone buildings, built from the mellow locally quarried oolitic limestone known as Cotswold stone, and boasts a wealth of fine vernacular architecture. At its centre stands the Market Hall with its splendid arches, built in 1627.

Other attractions include the grand early perpendicular wool church of St James – with its medieval altar frontals (c.1500), cope (c.1400) and vast and extravagant 17th-century monuments to local wealthy silk merchant Sir Baptist Hicks and his family – the Almshouses and Woolstaplers Hall. The Court Barn near the church is now a museum celebrating the rich Arts and Crafts tradition of the area (see below). Hicks was also responsible for Campden House, which was destroyed by fire during the English Civil War possibly to prevent it falling into the hands of the Parliamentarians. All that now remains of Hicks' once imposing estate are two gatehouses, two Jacobean banqueting houses, restored by the Landmark Trust and Lady Juliana's gateway. Hicks' descendants still live at the Court House attached to the site.[3] The town is the end point of the Cotswold Way, a 102-mile Long-distance footpath.

There are two famous and historic gardens nearby: at Hidcote Manor Garden, owned and managed by the National Trust, and at Kiftsgate, in private ownership but open to the public. Two miles to the west, in the grounds of Weston Park near Saintbury, are the earthwork remains of a motte-and-bailey castle.[4]

The town has hosted its own Olimpick Games since 1612.

East Banqueting House and St James at Chipping Campden.



The town falls in 'Campden-Vale' electoral ward. This ward stretches north from Chipping Campden to Mickleton. The total ward population taken at the 2011 census was 5,888.[5] In Local Government Chipping Campden is represented by a Town Council of 11 Councillors. One Councillor is selected to serve as Mayor for a term of 12 Months. Chipping Campden Council meets on the second Tuesday of Every Month in Chipping Campden Town Hall. All Council Meeting are open to the public with time set aside for public questions.


The currently closed Chipping Campden railway station.

There are proposals for new stations at Withington and Chipping Campden on the Cotswold Line. A long-standing proposal for a new station at Worcester (Norton) Parkway where the line crosses the Birmingham and Bristol Railway has now substantial funding. The plans and proposals are now available on Worcestershire County Council website and the public consultation period has begun.[6]

Cotswold GamesEdit

Since the early seventeenth century the town has been home to a championship of rural games, which later turned into Robert Dover's Cotswold Olimpick Games. The Olimpicks are held every summer on the Friday evening following the late Spring Bank-holiday (usually late May or early June), on Dover's Hill, near Chipping Campden. Peculiar to the games is the sport of shin-kicking (hay stuffed down the trousers can ease one's brave passage to later rounds). To mark the end of the games, there is a huge bonfire and firework display. This is followed by a torch-lit procession back into the town and dancing to a local band in the square. The Scuttlebrook Wake takes place the following day. The locals don fancy dress costumes and follow the Scuttlebrook Queen, with her four attendants and Page Boy, in a procession to the centre of town pulled on a decorated dray by the town's own Morris Men. This is then followed by the presentation of prizes and displays of Maypole and Country dancing by the two primary schools and Morris dancing. Another procession from there past the fairground in Leysbourne and the Alms Houses brings that stage of the celebration to a close whilst the fair continues until mid-night and, like a ghost, is gone by the morning.


Since 2002 Chipping Campden has hosted what is now widely recognised as one of the UK's leading music festivals.[7]

Arts and Crafts movementEdit

In the early 20th century, the town became known as a centre for the Cotswold Arts and Crafts Movement, following the move of Charles Robert Ashbee with the members of his Guild and School of Handicraft from the East End of London in 1902. The Guild of Handicraft specialised in metalworking, producing jewellery and enamels, as well as hand-wrought copper and wrought ironwork, and furniture-making. A number of artists and writers settled in the area, including F. L. Griggs, the etcher, who built Dover's Court, (Now known as New Dover's House) one of the last significant Arts and Crafts houses, and set up the Campden Trust with Norman Jewson and others, initially to protect Dover's Hill from development. H. J. Massingham, the rural writer who celebrated the traditions of the English countryside, also settled near the town. Ananda Coomaraswamy, the Sri Lankan philosopher and art critic and the hand loom weaver Ethel Coomaraswamy, settled at Broad Campden where Ashbee adapted the Norman chapel for him.[8]

Notable peopleEdit

  • Graham Greene, prolific English novelist, playwright, short story writer and critic lived, between 1931 and 1933,[9] with his wife Vivien Greene at "Little Orchard" in the town.[10]
  • Ernest Wilson, plantsman, was born in the town.
  • Sir Percy Hobart, armoured vehicle strategist and commander of the 79th Armoured Division in the Second World War, came from Chipping Campden and led the Home Guard there during the war.
  • Frederick Landseer Maur Griggs has a commemorative plaque in the town.
  • Sir Gordon Russell, (1892-1980) celebrated furniture designer and maker. Went to school in Chipping Campden and built his home, Kingcombe, there in 1925. He lived at Kingcombe until he died.[11]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Chipping Campden Town Council - Part of Campden Online". Chipping Camdpen Town Council. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  2. ^ A.D. Mills, Oxford Dictionary of English Place-Names (Oxford University Press, 1998), p. 83.
  3. ^ "The Times & The Sunday Times". Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  4. ^ "Saintbury Castle - South West - Castles, Forts and Battles". Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  5. ^ "Campden-Vale ward 2011". Retrieved 22 March 2015.
  6. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 27 October 2014.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "Chipping Campden Annual Music Festival". Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  8. ^ Norman Chapel House, British Listed Buildings, Retrieved 21 October 2015
  9. ^ [1] Archived 2 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine Campden Cottages web site
  10. ^ Vivien Greene Obituary The Guardian (London), 23 August 2003
  11. ^ Designer's Trade, Gordon Russell

External linksEdit

Following the Cotswold Way
Chipping Campden
9 km (6 miles) to