Chipping Campden, Wiltshire

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Address: Chipping Campden, UK

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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.) A rich wool trading centre in the Middle Ages, Chipping Campden enjoyed the patronage of wealthy wool merchants (see also wool church). 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. 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. The town has hosted its own Olimpick Games since 1612. The Olympic torch passed through Chipping Campden on 1 July 2012.

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On your visit to Wiltshire, consider visiting Chipping Campden. Chipping Campden is not generally crowded with tourists and visitors.

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