The building, said to have been built in 1570, was once used for the sale of dairy products. It was sited where an Estate Agents stands today.
Originally on the site of the Market Cross, a structure used to indicate the market square and centre of trade, the fresh produce was laid out and displayed on the circular stepped bases of the cross. It gradually developed into the 6 pillar, roofed structure you can see today.
The Shambles, a long wooden-roofed open-fronted shed where butchers displayed grew around the Buttercross. When this burned down in 1856 the buttery survived and sold meat.
In 1889 it was sold for a sum of £6 to Mr. E C Lowndes owner of the Manor House in Castle Combe, where it was used as a gazebo in his kitchen garden. It was replaced by a late Victorian building. One hundred years later the Chippenham Civic Society bought the building for £300 and started on a 6-year campaign to return the building to a prominent position in the Town Centre, near to its original home. The cost of £85k needed for the rebuilding of the Buttercross was raised by local donations.
Opened in 1995 it now stands as the centrepiece of the pedestrianised town centre, where a market is still held every Friday and Saturday.
An oak-beamed roof topped by Cotswold stone slating rests on 6 stone Doric columns. This covers stone commemorative seating and chequered Portland stone paving.
The stone bench is engraved with the history of the Market Place and the names of those who contributed to its reconstruction.