Tuesday 13 January 2015

Chipping Campden

We enjoyed our visit to Chipping Campden when we visited last week.

We parked here, by the gateway of Old Campden House which is framed by these two cute pepperpot lodges. The Jacobean house was built in 1613 and was burned to the ground by retreating Royalist soldiers thirty years later.


Two banqueting houses were the only other survivors and this is one of them. In the 17th century guests would have retired here for their banquet (or dessert course) at the end of a meal to drink wives and eat dried fruit and sweetmeats.
The East banqueting house is owned by the Landmark Trust these days and many many years ago we visited friends who were staying here and stayed with them for one night. We have very fond memories of our stay.

The church of St James is right next to the gateway and we like the grounds so another visit was in order.

Each of the lime trees leading from the main entrance to the porch represents an apostle.

Most of the church is 500 years old and was built with money from the flourishing wool trade.

A very narrow passageway, fun to walk through.

Rebuilt in the 15th century, the church is an example of an early perpendicular wool church

This house is right opposite the church so it might be the vicarage.


We then started walking towards the centre of the town past these Alms Houses which were built in 1612. Their very simple style shows the early influence in Britain of the Renaissance. They were and still are used as the homes of twelve pensioners. Each dwelling has an upper and lower room and each front door is shared by two houses.

It's the mellow honey-coloured Cotswold stone that makes these villages so attractive


Chipping Campden was one of the most important of the medieval wool towns and famous throughout Europe. It's this legacy of fame and prosperity that give the town its character.


The High Street is long and broad, and is flanked on either side by an almost unbroken single terrace, made up of many different architectural styles. In 1970 the High Street and much of the rest of the town was officially designated a conservation area. 


The wealth of the town came from the wool trade.

The Market Hall is in the centre of the town. It was built in 1627 by Baptist Hicks, who also built Old Campden House. Built to provide shelter for traders, it was a very important part of the town: butter, cheese and poultry were sold here.

In the 1940 it was almost sold to an American, but local people raised the money to buy it first and gave it to the National Trust.

The stone of the floor is so worn away by hundreds of years of bustling trading that it's hard to imagine that it could be used for anything much today.

Unlike other Cotswold towns Chipping Campden is not overrun with tourists 

and this adds to its charm. 


Small but beautifully proportioned


We stopped at the Cotswold Grill for some lunch

and admired the glass ball fountain that is in the middle of a small courtyard at the back of the restaurant.

On the way back to the car we came across another fine example of the town's architecture.



  1. It's such an attractive place, I'm amazed that it is not more popular with tourists.

    1. I do not understand it at all, Olga. Maybe it's because there's not much else to do there: no nice shops to window shop and browse, except for Robert Welsh.