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Discover Chippenham

Nestled on the banks of the River Avon and easily accessible by rail and road, Chippenham offers an ideal centre for relaxation and exploration of rural Wiltshire, Bath and the Cotswolds. Chippenham is four miles south of the M4 and on the mainline rail route from London Paddington to the West Country and just 10 minutes by train to the world-famous historic city of Bath.

Chippenham enjoys a reputation as a flourishing and lively market town, with a compact centre and thriving commercial life, it has been granted Purple Flag Status for its nightlife. Chippenham has a wealth of beautifully maintained parks, play areas and open spaces, proved by the Green Flag Award in John Coles Park.

The combination of the ancient and the new, the historic architectural gems, excellent transport links, modern shopping centres and some of the country’s greatest houses and historic villages on the doorstep, makes Chippenham an idyllic location for living, working and visiting.

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Our Town

  1. The Yelde Hall
  2. St Mary Street
  3. Monkton Park and the River Avon
  4. St Andrew’s Church
  5. Chippenham Museum
  6. The Buttercross
  7. John Coles Park and Splashpad
  8. Town Hall and Neeld Community & Arts Centre
  9. Stanley Park Sports Ground
  10. The Brunel Arches
  11. Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre
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The Yelde Hall

Built in the 15th century, the Yelde Hall or Guildhall, is one of the oldest surviving buildings in Chippenham. It was the meeting place for the Council, as well as the towns public meeting room, courthouse and jail.

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St Mary Street

A hidden gem, St Mary Street is one of the most historic streets in Chippenham, with houses dating back to the 16th Century. John Betjeman described it as ‘the most perfect unselfconscious bit of English country townscape one could hope to find’ and it even features in the opening credits of the Antiques Roadshow!

Monkton Park and the River Avon

Flowing through the centre of the town, the River Avon offers an oasis of calm in the heart of Chippenham. Follow the riverside walk along its banks to the wonderful wildlife. Stroll through Monkton Park, which hosts events including an open air cinema and Chippenham’s annual folk festival.

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St Andrew’s Church

The earliest church on the site of St Andrew’s is thought to have been Saxon. It would probably have been built of timber and was demolished completely in order to build a stone church. The present church is thought to date from around Norman times (about 1120) although very little now remains. The current building dates mostly from the 15th century and is built in the perpendicular style.

Chippenham Museum

Housed is an 18th century townhouse, Chippenham Museum tells the fascinating story of this historic market town from its prehistoric origin to the present day. Learn about the town’s development, through its connections to the river, road and rail and explore its surprising links to Alfred the Great and Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

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The Buttercross

Where milk and cheese were sold, the ancient Buttercross once stood at the current location of Barclays Bank. In 1889 it was sold and moved to Castle Combe Monor House, where it was used as a garden gazebo. In 1995, the Buttercross was re-erected in the town by Chippenham Civic Society. It now stands as the centrepiece of the pedestrianised town centre where a market is held every Friday and Saturday.

John Coles Park and Splashpad

Opened in 1922, John Coles Park is a beautiful green space offering a variety of activities for all ages. It’s traditional Bandstand hosts a free Sunday afternoon concert, while the SplashPad is a great place for children under 12 to cool off on hot summer days. If that’s not enough the park also offers a play area, tennis courts, a bowling green, multi-use games area and refreshment kiosk.

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Town Hall and Neeld Community & Arts Centre

Built in 1835, the Town Hall plays a major role in the life of Chippenham and its Town Council. The ground floor once held a covered market, but is now home to Customer Services, where you can get information on public transport and places to visit in Chippenham. In 1850 the building was extended with the addition of the Neeld Hall, housing a corn exchange and Cheese Market. It is now an exciting community and arts centre with a varied programme offering nationally acclaimed performers and local show, activities, and projects.

Stanley Park Sports Ground

Our world class sports facility is one of Wiltshire’s largest outdoor sporting venues.

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The Brunel Arches

This impressive stone and brick viaduct was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, to carry the Great Western Railway through Chippenham.

Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre

This state-of-the-art building, near the train station, holds the Wiltshire and Swindon archives, with historic documents dating back to the 12th century. It also holds Wiltshire Local Studies Library with books, photographs, newspapers and other published material on the history of the county.

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History

Chippenham was first settled in the sixth century by the Anglo Saxons. It was a ‘Royal’ Town, owned by the Kings of Wessex. Alfred the Great built a hunting lodge here to take advantage of the surrounding forests. It was in Chippenham on Twelfth Night 878 AD, that Alfred fought the Viking invaders eventually driving them from Wessex.

From the Medieval period, the town flourished, making its wealth from the wool trade. Being on the Great West Way, between Bristol and London, Chippenham was and still is an important market and transport hub. The arrival of the Great Western Railway in 1841, saw the town rapidly develop and become a centre for the railway industries as it is to this day.

History of Governance in Chippenham