Last updated

St Andrew's Chippenham.JPG
St Andrew's Church, Chippenham
Wiltshire UK location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Location within Wiltshire
Area158.42 km2 (61.17 sq mi)
Population36,548 (2021 Census) [1]
  Density 231/km2 (600/sq mi)
OS grid reference ST919733
  London 86 mi (138 km)
Civil parish
  • Chippenham
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district SN14, SN15
Dialling code 01249
UK Parliament
Website OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
List of places
51°27′32″N2°06′58″W / 51.459°N 2.116°W / 51.459; -2.116 Coordinates: 51°27′32″N2°06′58″W / 51.459°N 2.116°W / 51.459; -2.116

Chippenham is a market town in northwest Wiltshire, England. It lies 13 miles (21 km) northeast of Bath, 86 miles (138 km) west of London, and is near the Cotswolds Area of Natural Beauty. The town was established on a crossing of the River Avon and some form of settlement is believed to have existed there since before Roman times. It was a royal vill, and probably a royal hunting lodge, under Alfred the Great. The town continued to grow when the Great Western Railway arrived in 1841. The town had a population of 36,548 in 2021. [1]




Chippenham is in western Wiltshire, at a prominent crossing of the River Avon, between the Marlborough Downs to the east, the southern Cotswolds to the north and west and Salisbury Plain to the southeast.

The town is surrounded by sparsely populated countryside and there are several woodlands in or very near the town, such as Bird's Marsh, Vincients Wood and Briars Wood.


Suburbs include Cepen Park (North & South), Hardenhuish, Monkton, Lowden, Pewsham, Primrose Hill, Englands, Frogwell, Derriads, The Folly, Redland, Queens Crescent, Lackham, Fenway Park, and Hill Rise, loosely corresponding to local government wards.


British Railways "totem" sign for Chippenham station. British Railways Western Region station totem for Chippenham.jpg
British Railways "totem" sign for Chippenham station.
Brunel's railway viaduct ChippenhamBrunelViaduct.jpg
Brunel's railway viaduct

Chippenham lies 4 miles (6 km) south of the M4 motorway, which links the town to Bristol, Swindon, South Wales and London. The A4 former coach road, A420 and B4069 provide further road links to Bath, Bristol and Oxford.

The town is bypassed to the west by the A350, which links the M4 motorway with Chippenham and nearby towns to the south, such as Melksham, Warminster and Trowbridge. The A4 national route crosses the southern part of the town, linking Chippenham to nearby Corsham, Calne, and Bath. In November 2019, the government approved an eastern extension linking the A4 to the A350 north of Cepen Park. [2]

Chippenham has a bus station with several routes and companies serving it. These include Stagecoach West with the route 55 to Swindon, Faresaver with the X31 to Bath, X34 to Trowbridge and Frome, 33 to Devizes as well as several local routes such as the 44K to Kington St Michael, and Coachstyle with the 99 to Malmesbury and Swindon. First Bus also operate a small number of late evening buses on the X31 route. A smaller secondary bus station is located at Town Bridge, which serves as a hub for some local and town services, as well as National Express coach services for destinations including Bristol, London, Northampton, Oxford, and the South West.

Chippenham railway station is on the Great Western Main Line and is served by services between London Paddington and the West Country via Bristol Temple Meads or Swindon, and is famous for its railway arches and other buildings engineered by Isambard Kingdom Brunel as part of the Great Western Railway development. It is served by main line services and a smaller service to Southampton Central via Melksham, Westbury and Salisbury. It is now mostly electrified to make train times faster from London to the West Country (less than an hour from Paddington), the Chippenham to Bath and Bristol section having been indefinitely deferred in 2016.


The Buttercross today ChippenhamButtercross.jpg
The Buttercross today

The original Buttercross, a stone structure, was erected in c. 1570 and stood at the centre of the Shambles at the current location of Barclays Bank. It was used for the sale of meat and dairy products. In 1889, Mr E.C. Lowndes bought the structure for £6 and re-erected it as a gazebo in the kitchen garden of the manor house at Castle Combe, where it fell into disrepair. The Buttercross was re-erected in 1995 by the Chippenham Civic Society, funded by many local people and organisations. [3] It currently stands as the centre-piece of the pedestrianised area of the town centre, where a market is held each Friday and Saturday.

The Yelde Hall is one of very few remaining medieval timber framed buildings in the town. It originally was divided internally for use as a market hall. Both the hall and its meeting room upstairs were used by the burgess and bailiff for a variety of meetings and trials as well as for Council meetings. The space under the Council Chamber was used as the town gaol. [4]

Town arms from 1776 on the Yelde Hall ChippenhamArmsYeldeHall.jpg
Town arms from 1776 on the Yelde Hall

Bird's Marsh

Bird's Marsh is a woodland of about 24 hectares (59 acres), to the north of the town. It is home to many kinds of wildlife, and a popular place for walkers, due to its fairly large size and surrounding countryside. One way into Bird's Marsh is through a field close to the Morrisons supermarket, just south of the roundabout on the A350 (Malmesbury Road). There are also access points off Hill Corner Road (via fields) and Jacksom's Lane. Although not actually a marsh, the ground can be very boggy off the well-marked paths; this has protected the area from housing development.

In 2008, developers made a planning inquiry about building 800 homes around the Bird's Marsh area.

In 2012, developers won the right to build on this area, despite fierce opposition from resident groups. [5] [6]

In 2013, after nearly five years of campaigning, the protesters achieved partial success when the woodland and a field were granted village green status. [7]

In 2018, work began on the new housing estate in land to the south of Birds Marsh. Many environmental concerns were raised and ignored in the intervening years. Large lagoons were dug to gather the water from the land. [8]


Climate data for Lyneham, 145m asl (1991-2020)
Average high °C (°F)7.2
Average low °C (°F)1.7
Average rainfall mm (inches)76.7
Average rainy days (≥ 1.0 mm)
Mean monthly sunshine hours 60.678.9124.5172.9210.9205.2215.2192.7154.1112.970.754.41,653
Source: Met Office [9]

Population and demography

Population of Chippenham 1801-2018 (2011-2018 estimate in red) Population of Chippenham with Estimate.png
Population of Chippenham 1801–2018 (2011–2018 estimate in red)

City population gave the 2011 Census population as 35,800 [10] which is probably correct.

Other sources say: Chippenham's population grew rapidly in the 1990s, from 25,376 in 1991 to 28,065 at the 2001 census, an increase of 11%. [11] This reflected the development of large housing estates (indeed, entirely new suburbs) such as Cepen Park to the west of the town, and the Pewsham development to the east (named for the small village of Pewsham, further east). By 2007 the figure had reached 34,820. [12]

The 2011 census also gave information on the demographic makeup of the town. Around 92.1% of the town's population are categorised as White British, making Chippenham more ethnically diverse than Wiltshire as a whole (93.4% White British), but less diverse than the wider South West (91.8% White British).



The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the town as Cippanhamme: this could refer to Cippa who had his Hamm, an enclosure in a river meadow. An alternative theory suggests that the name is derived from the Anglo-Saxon word ceap, meaning market. [13] [14] The name is recorded variously as Cippanhamm (878), Cepen (1042), Cheppeham (1155), Chippenham (1227), Shippenham (1319) and Chippyngham (1541). [15] In John Speed's map of Wiltshire (1611), the name is spelt both "Chippenham" (for the hundred) and "Chipnam" (for the town). (There is another Chippenham, Cambridgeshire as well as Cippenham, Berkshire near Slough.) From Chapman's harbour. It might share toponomy with Copenhagen (København – "Market harbour". Older name: Køpmannæhafn, "Chapman's Harbour" ). In Swedish, Köpenhamn (pronounced "Shopenham"). In Norwegian, Kjøpenhavn (Pronounced "Shiopenhavn")

Earliest settlement

There are believed to have been settlements in the Chippenham region since before Roman times. Remains of Romano-British settlements are visible in the wall behind the former magistrates' court and recent redevelopments of the town have shown up other evidence of early settlements. [16]

Early Medieval

The town (not counting the Roman villages now within its boundaries) is believed to have been founded by Anglo-Saxons around AD 600. In AD 853, Æthelswith (sister to Alfred the Great) married King Burgred of Mercia at Chippenham. [17] Alfred was then a boy of four and the wedding was held on the site of St Andrew's church. According to Bishop Asser's Life of King Alfred, Chippenham was, under Alfred's reign, a royal vill; [18] historians have also argued, from its proximity to the royal forests at Melksham and Barden, that it was probably a hunting lodge. [19] Alfred's daughter was also married in Chippenham. [20]

Danish Vikings successfully besieged Chippenham in 878. Later that year, at the Battle of Ethandun, Alfred decisively defeated the Danes, whose forces then surrendered to Alfred at Chippenham (ushering in the establishment of the Danelaw). [14]

In 1042, the royal holding in Chippenham makes mention of a church. [14] The 1086 Domesday Book listed Chippenham as Chepeham, with a substantial population of 177 households. [21]

High and Late Medieval

In Norman times, the royal properties were separated into the manors of Sheldon, Rowden and Lowden. Records show that the town expanded into Langstret (now the Causeway) from 1245, and from 1406 into Le Newstret (now the New Road area of town). Throughout this period, Chippenham continued to have a thriving market in the town centre.

A map of Chippenham from 1773 Chippenham1773.jpg
A map of Chippenham from 1773

The A4 that runs through Chippenham incorporates parts of the 14th-century medieval road network that linked London to Bristol. This was an important road for the English cloth trade, and so its upkeep was funded in part by Bristol cloth merchants. [20]

Chippenham was represented in the Parliament of England from 1295, and Queen Mary granted the town a Charter of Incorporation in 1554.

Analysis of the wood used to build the Yelde Hall indicates that the market hall was built around 1450. [22] The Shambles and Buttercross were built after 1570. [16] The Shambles were destroyed in a fire in 1856 but the Yelde Hall survived.

The parish of Chippenham Without encompasses the deserted medieval village of Sheldon, devastated by plague; all that remains today is Sheldon Manor, Wiltshire's oldest inhabited manor house, dating from 1282.

16th to 18th centuries

The wool industry took off in the 16th century, partly due to the river. The plague hit the town hard in 1611 and 1636. This, a recession in the woollen industry, and a drop in corn production in 1622 and 1623, caused massive hardship for the town's population. The trade in cloth faced further problems during the English Civil War due to a Royalist proclamation that prohibited the sale of cloth to the Parliamentarian-controlled London.

In 1747, a bribery and corruption scandal (involving two members of parliament for Chippenham) led to the downfall of Sir Robert Walpole's government.

An OS map of Chippenham from 1896 Chippenham1896.jpg
An OS map of Chippenham from 1896

19th and 20th centuries

A branch to Chippenham off the Wilts & Berks Canal was built in 1798, terminating at a wharf at Timber Street near the marketplace; the main commodity traded was coal. [23] The site of the wharf is now the town's bus station, and part of Pewsham Way follows the line of the branch. The Great Western Railway arrived in Chippenham in 1841, and in turn attracted many new businesses. The arrival of these businesses required new housing which led to the expansion of the town into land north of the railway, which in turn led to the growth of further industries to support the building work.

An OS map of Chippenham from 1946 Chippenham1946.png
An OS map of Chippenham from 1946

The arrival of the railway promoted the growth of industrial agricultural businesses. In the middle of the 19th century, Chippenham was a major centre for the production of dairy and ham products; this led, later, to Nestlé and Matteson's having factories in the town centre. The railway also led to the growth of railway engineering works in Chippenham: the first of these was Roland Brotherhood in 1842. A variety of companies then took over part or all of the business on the site, until in 1935 Westinghouse Brake and Signal Company Ltd took over the site fully. [16] The signalling side of the business remains at the Chippenham site and is now owned by Siemens Rail Automation Group; the brakes business was taken over by the German company Knorr-Bremse, [24] and is in nearby Melksham.

On 17 April 1960, American singers Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent, and songwriter Sharon Sheeley, were involved in a car crash in Chippenham at Rowden Hill. Cochran died as a result of his injuries and a memorial plaque was erected near the site. [25]

On 13 February 1998, two unexploded bombs from World War II were discovered in the field behind Hardens Mead during preparations for the building of Abbeyfield School. About 1,100 residents in the east of Chippenham had to be evacuated for two nights until the army carried out a controlled explosion. The Army initially tried to defuse the larger 750 kg (1,650 lb) device, but it was decided that owing to the bomb's orientation in the ground this would be too dangerous. [26]


Coat of arms of the Chippenham Coat of Arms - Chippenham.png
Coat of arms of the Chippenham
Chippenham Town Hall Town Hall (geograph 3045953).jpg
Chippenham Town Hall

The offices of North Wiltshire District Council were in the town until 2009, when a unitary authority was created for the whole of Wiltshire. The offices in Monkton Park were taken over by Wiltshire Council, which has its headquarters in Trowbridge.

The office of Town Mayor was established in 1835, before which Chippenham was governed by a bailiff supported by burgesses. Elected annually by the Town Council, the Mayor is generally appointed to office in May each year, at the "Mayor Making" ceremony. As part of their duties as the first citizen of a town, the Mayor visits organisations, charities and groups representing all parts of the local community, acting as a figurehead to promote goodwill, cultural exchange, trade and commerce. The Mayor also nominates a charity which they will support throughout their year of office. Other tasks include presiding over Town Council meetings and acting as president of various local organisations, such as the Twinning Association and the Sea Cadets. [27]

In 1812, Sir Robert Peel, the creator of the modern police force, served as one of the two Members of Parliament (MPs) for Chippenham.

Until 2010, the town was within the parliamentary constituency of North Wiltshire, traditionally a Conservative stronghold, although in the 19th century some Liberal members were elected. Boundary changes for the 2010 general election saw Liberal Democrat candidate Duncan Hames become the Member of Parliament for Chippenham, a newly created constituency formed from parts of three neighbouring constituencies. In 2015 Chippenham was won for the Conservatives by Michelle Donelan, who has continued to hold the seat.

Chippenham Town Council, which is based at Chippenham Town Hall, is responsible for some public services in the town. For 2020–21 they set the 13th highest council tax of any lowest tier (parish/town) council in England at £262.05 per Band D property, [28] and are proposing to increase this to £270.44 for 2021–22. [29] Unlike most town and parish councils, the Town Council employs a Chief Executive rather than a Town Clerk. [30]


Chippenham High Street featured a co-operative department store (now Wilko, left foreground) Highstchipp.jpg
Chippenham High Street featured a co-operative department store (now Wilko, left foreground)

Historically a market town, Chippenham's economy has since changed to that of a commuter town with residents travelling to workplaces in Bath, Bristol, Swindon and even London (almost 100 miles to the east).

Several large businesses have been located in the region, with the biggest former employer being Westinghouse, now owned by Siemens, whose factory complex lies next to the railway station. The company undertakes railway signalling contracts for Network Rail, London Underground as well as railway operators in other parts of the world, e.g. Beijing Subway, Oslo Public Transport Administration, SMRT Corporation, Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation, MTR Corporation and many others. Parts of the Westinghouse site are occupied by a range of companies. There are a number of other industrial sites around the town, Bumpers Farm being the largest.

In 2005, Wincanton PLC, Europe's second-largest logistics organisation, consolidated its head office operations and moved to the newly developed Methuen Park office development in west Chippenham, where it employs around 350 people.


Chippenham is a market town, with street markets taking place every Friday and Saturday around Market Place and along the High Street. A Farmers' Market for the sale of fresh, locally produced foodstuffs is also held here once a fortnight. [31] The original Cattle Market, which closed in 2004, is now being redeveloped by Linden Homes Western Limited as one of the UK's largest eco-housing projects.


Chippenham's main retail area surrounds the High Street (which is closed to traffic during the day) and the Market Place. Two shopping centres lie on either side of the High Street: the enclosed Emery Gate Shopping Centre and the open-air Borough Parade, with a medium-sized Tesco and a small Waitrose respectively. In and around the High Street, there are very few independent shops as franchises dominate; there are some independent shops along The Causeway and in the Upper Market Place.

Retail parks, such as the Hathaway Retail Park, Bath Road Retail Park and the Chippenham Retail Park (Bumpers Way), are towards the edge of town and contain larger superstores and fast-food outlets.

The Chippenham Co-operative Society was founded in 1890. Over the years, it played an increasing role in the local economy, becoming deeply involved in agriculture and dairy farming, and for most of the 20th century its department store dominated the lower end of the High Street. However, by the 1960s, the business was facing increasing competition and found it necessary to join forces with other co-operatives, first locally, then nationally, forming The Co-operative Group. In the 1980s, this flagship store was sold and became a Wilko branch, but the Co-operative Group diversified into other areas, such as insurance and funeral services, which still operate through many local branches. [32]


Surrounding the town are a number of stone-built villages, including Lacock (National Trust), Biddestone, Bremhill, and Castle Combe. The great house and art treasures of Longleat , Bowood House , Lacock Abbey , Sheldon Manor and Corsham Court are within easy reach. Chippenham Museum and Heritage Centre is in the town centre and tells the story of the market town.

Twinned towns

Chippenham is twinned with La Flèche in France [33] and Friedberg in Germany.

La Flèche lies on the banks of the Loir, 42 km (26 mi) from Le Mans and 72 km (45 mi) from Tours. Set amongst woods and farmland, La Flèche has various recreational facilities including a zoological park. Le Prytane Militaire public school dates back to the time of King Henry IV of France, and La Flèche has the status of a University Town. In 1630, people from La Flèche founded Montreal in Canada.

Friedberg is 64 km (40 mi) from Munich and the Bavarian Alps. Duke Ludwig the severe and his nephew Conradin founded the town in 1264. Friedberg is a walled town, with many sporting and cultural events such as the 17th century Street Festival.


Chippenham Folk festival Rag Morris at Chippenham.jpg
Chippenham Folk festival

The Chippenham Folk Festival [34] takes place every year, usually over the Whitsuntide weekend.

There is an annual festival in remembrance of American rock and roll singer Eddie Cochran, who died on 17 April 1960 following a car accident in Chippenham on his way back to London during a tour. [25]

From 1963, the Town Museum was housed in the Yelde Hall. By 2000, it had outgrown the site and moved to the former Magistrates' Court in the Market Place. The museum charts the history of the town from Neolithic times until today. By 2005, the museum had attracted over 90,000 visitors. [27]

Sport and leisure

Chippenham Sports Club Pavilion CTSC Pavillion + Tennis court.jpg
Chippenham Sports Club Pavilion

Chippenham is well served with sports clubs and leisure facilities. The Olympiad Centre opened in 1989, replacing an outdoor pool which had closed in 1988. It caters for a wide range of interests and has a variety of swimming pools and full gym facilities. [35] It also hosts events including the popular annual CAMRA Beer Festival. [36]

Chippenham Sports Club, on the A420 Bristol Road, is a members' sports club. [37] Its facilities include a two-storey pavilion that overlooks the six hard-surface floodlit tennis courts [38] and the cricket square and field. [39] The all-weather hockey pitches are used by ladies' and men's teams. The Dome, an inflatable, all year round, indoor sports dome, provides amenities including netball, cricket nets and a five-a-side football league. Chippenham Town Bowls Club, with its own pavilion, is on the same site. [40]

The town is home to Chippenham Town F.C. They were formed in 1873, and most notably played in the FA Vase 2000 Final, when they lost 1–0 to Deal Town F.C. They currently play in the National League South.

Chippenham United F.C., formed in 1905, played for twelve seasons in the Wiltshire Football League after World War II, but folded in 1962.

Chippenham Rugby Club is on the western outskirts alongside the A350 bypass. [41] Chippenham Golf Club is situated on the A350 as it leads north from the town towards the M4. [42] The club, formed in 1896, has a new clubhouse and redeveloped course opened in 2012.

Chippenham has a small cinema, the Reel Astoria, on the A420 Marshfield Road, to the west of the town centre.

The Sustrans National Cycle Network Route 403 passes through the town.

There is a variety of nightlife in the town, including nightclubs, wine bars, and a mixture of modern and traditionally styled pubs.


17th and 18th centuries

In his will of 1661, Richard Scott directed that his house in Cooke's Street should be used as a school, and William Woodruffe gave an annuity of £5 in 1664 for the teaching of ten poor boys. In 1713 the school was reopened with a benefaction of £10 per annum for 24 boys. [43]

Late 19th century

From 1875 a private venture grammar school existed in Chippenham, conducted in St Mary Street by Mr Wilson and from 1883 by Mr Cruikshank. [44]

In 1891, the Technical Instruction Acts (1889 & 1891) provided financial assistance [45] for evening classes in various science and arts subjects. Earlier voluntary classes were now coordinated, and this became the beginning of a national system of technical education. Subjects included Shorthand, Animal Physiology, Chemistry, Physics, Hygiene, Carpentry and Dressmaking.

In 1893, Edward Newall Tuck was appointed by the Education Committee of the Borough of Chippenham to organise technical classes in Chippenham and district. Classes were held in rented premises at No. 21 London Road and at the Jubilee Institute, as well as in villages including Grittleton and Yatton Keynell. Teachers from elementary schools attended classes in a School of Art on Saturdays at the Jubilee Institute. Mr Tuck, in addition, gave talks on Wiltshire history and nature study; he also served as town councillor and was Mayor of Chippenham from 1931 to 1932. In 1894, pupils were not admitted to classes until they reached the age of 11. Pupils from day schools were admitted free from age 11 to 16. The fees at this time were fixed at 6d per month, the whole expenses of the school being met by fees and grants from the Science and Art Department and the County Council. Higher grade classes for boys, including Woodwork and Chemistry, were held at No. 21 London Road.

In 1896, under the provisions of the Technical and Industrial Institutions Act (1892), the Borough of Chippenham established the Chippenham and District County School, [46] subsequently known as the Chippenham County Secondary School for Boys and Girls, with Mr Tuck as the first headmaster (he remained in this post until 1939). The first Chair of Governors was former mayor Alderman John Coles. [47]

The premises were still located at No. 21 London Road and the Jubilee Institute. As the tenancy of the private venture school was to end on 25 March 1896, the Town Council paid Mr Cruikshank £10 for the desks, books and goodwill of his school. Boys were drawn from three elementary schools in Chippenham: the British, National and St. Paul's Schools. In addition twelve boys had previously attended the private grammar school. Others were from other private schools in Chippenham, Corsham, Devizes, Calne and surrounding villages. There were 39 boys aged 11 to 16 on the admission register from 13 April 1896. The curriculum included Latin, French, science, history, geography, grammar, bookkeeping, shorthand, arithmetic, writing, geometry and freehand drawing. [44]

In September 1898, a girls' school was established, against some opposition, in the Temperance Hall, Foghamshire; 22 girls were admitted at opening, from the schools of Mrs Parry (Market Place), Miss Alexander (Monkton Hill), Mrs White (Marshfield Road), from private tuition and from local National and British schools.

20th century

On 24 September 1900, the Chippenham District County School opened in Cocklebury Lane, now part of Wiltshire College (built on an acre of land purchased in 1896 by the county, Urban and Rural District Councils). The ceremony was attended by the Mayor and Aldermen of Chippenham. In addition to Mr Edward Newall Tuck as headmaster, the staff included three masters and one mistress; there were 99 pupils. The total cost of the project was £6,000. [48] In addition to the buildings and playground, four acres of adjoining land were rented for playing fields. All day classes were consolidated here and pupil numbers increased rapidly. [44]

On 1 May 1901 the Governors decided that the school should become a Science School. Four scholarships were granted (to three girls and one boy). In July it was decided to establish a centre for pupil-teachers at the school. In 1902, local education authorities were established and Wiltshire County Council became responsible for education in Chippenham. Latin was omitted from the curriculum. By 1904 there were 101 pupils: 50 from urban and 51 from rural areas. In addition 49 pupil teachers were attending, 9 from urban and the remainder from rural schools, and the evening classes had 139 pupils. From 1905 girls from elementary schools attended Cookery classes at the Cocklebury Road site.

By October 1907 the school had 128 pupils: 64 boys and 64 girls. The age of admission was 9, and the leaving age 17 to 18. In addition to the yearly fees paid by pupils, the school was financed by County and Government grants. [49] In 1908 the fees were five guineas a year, including books. However, there were a number of scholarships available and figures for the year show that of 115 pupils (66 girls and 49 boys), 57 held scholarships, one a "free place", and only 57 were fee-payers.

In 1922, the school received further County and Government grants. [50] In the inter-war years, numbers of pupils on roll increased steadily, and by 1929 there were 262. The Junior department was reorganised as a Kindergarten and Preparatory Form, catering for 61 children aged 8 to 10. However, the number of pupils over the age of 16 was proportionally small in comparison with the average for Wiltshire Grammar Schools, and so there was no separate sixth form , although a few pupils did go on to university, some with the aid of County Scholarships.

By the early 1930s the buildings were overcrowded, and by 1935 pupil numbers had reached 288. Wiltshire County Council purchased Hardenhuish Park from the Clutterbuck family to satisfy the educational requirements of the growing town. In 1938, the Secondary Grammar School moved from Cocklebury Road to new buildings (since demolished) on the east side of Hardenhuish House. [51] The old Manor House became the headmaster's room, the school library and some classrooms. [44] The new school extended over 40 acres (16 hectares) of Hardenhuish Park; new buildings contained a hall, gymnasium, laboratories, classrooms, and cloakrooms. In 1939, the Preparatory department closed.

By 1940 there were 414 pupils, of whom 25 were evacuees. 10% were under the age of 11 and, still, only 2% over 16. The Cocklebury Road premises became Chippenham County Secondary Modern School, a senior mixed school taking children aged 11 and over from the primary schools of Chippenham and district.


The nearest third-level institution is the University of Bath campus at Claverton Down, situated 12 miles to the west of Chippenham.


Wiltshire College & University Centre, the successor to Chippenham Technical College, has a campus (built in 2015) on Cocklebury Road. [52]


Three secondary schools cater for students from age 11 through sixth form.


There are ten primary schools in the town:

Special schools


In the 2001 census, 73.2% of the population in Chippenham parish defined themselves as Christian, 17.3% said they were of no religion and 8% did not state a religion. [56]

In the 2011 census, 59.6% of the population in the parish defined themselves as Christian, 31.1% said they were of no religion and 7.3% did not state a religion. [57]

St Andrew's Church Chippenham Church (Saint Andrew) (49419633733).jpg
St Andrew's Church

Church of England

Roman Catholic


Closed churches

Notable people

Freedom of the Town

The following military units have received the Freedom of the Town of Chippenham.

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wiltshire</span> County of England

Wiltshire is a historic and ceremonial county in South West England with an area of 3,485 km2. It is landlocked and borders the counties of Dorset to the southwest, Somerset to the west, Hampshire to the southeast, Gloucestershire to the north, Oxfordshire to the northeast and Berkshire to the east. The county town was originally Wilton, after which the county is named, but Wiltshire Council is now based in the county town of Trowbridge. Within the county's boundary are two unitary authority areas, Wiltshire and Swindon, governed respectively by Wiltshire Council and Swindon Borough Council.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Trowbridge</span> County town of Wiltshire, England

Trowbridge is the county town of Wiltshire, England, on the River Biss in the west of the county. It is near the border with Somerset and lies 8 miles (13 km) southeast of Bath, 31 miles (49 km) southwest of Swindon and 20 miles (32 km) southeast of Bristol. The town had a population of 37,169 in 2021.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Keynsham</span> Town and civil parish in Somerset, England

Keynsham is a town and civil parish located between Bristol and Bath in Somerset, England. It has a population of 16,000. It was listed in the Domesday Book as Cainesham, which is believed to mean the home of Saint Keyne.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Devizes</span> Town in Wiltshire, England

Devizes is a market town and civil parish in Wiltshire, England. It developed around Devizes Castle, an 11th-century Norman castle, and received a charter in 1141. The castle was besieged during the Anarchy, a 12th-century civil war between Stephen of England and Empress Matilda, and again during the English Civil War when the Cavaliers lifted the siege at the Battle of Roundway Down. Devizes remained under Royalist control until 1645, when Oliver Cromwell attacked and forced the Royalists to surrender. The castle was destroyed in 1648 on the orders of Parliament, and today little remains of it.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Melksham</span> Human settlement in England

Melksham is a town on the River Avon in Wiltshire, England, about 4.5 miles (7 km) northeast of Trowbridge and 6 miles (10 km) south of Chippenham. At the 2011 census, the Melksham built-up area had a population of 19,357, making it Wiltshire's fifth-largest settlement after Swindon, Salisbury, Chippenham and Trowbridge.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Calne</span> Human settlement in England

Calne is a town and civil parish in Wiltshire, southwestern England, at the northwestern extremity of the North Wessex Downs hill range, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Corsham</span> Human settlement in England

Corsham is a historic market town and civil parish in west Wiltshire, England. It is at the south-eastern edge of the Cotswolds, just off the A4 national route, 28 miles (45 km) southwest of Swindon, 20 miles (32 km) southeast of Bristol, 8 miles (13 km) northeast of Bath and 4 miles (6 km) southwest of Chippenham.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Westbury, Wiltshire</span> Human settlement in England

Westbury is a town and civil parish in the west of the English county of Wiltshire, below the northwestern edge of Salisbury Plain, about 4 miles (6 km) south of Trowbridge and a similar distance north of Warminster. Originally a market town, Westbury was known for the annual Hill Fair where many sheep were sold in the 18th and 19th centuries; later growth came from the town's position at the intersection of two railway lines. The busy A350, which connects the M4 motorway with the south coast, passes through the town. The urban area has expanded to include the village of Westbury Leigh and the hamlets of Chalford and Frogmore.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sheldon School</span> Academy in Chippenham, Wiltshire, England

Sheldon School is a large mixed secondary school and sixth form in Chippenham, Wiltshire for students aged 11 to 18 and is the largest school in Wiltshire. Since April 2011, it has been an Academy. It is one of three in Chippenham, the others being Abbeyfield and Hardenhuish. Since 1 September 2012, the school has been headed by Neil Spurdell who had previously been headteacher at John O'Gaunt School in Hungerford, West Berkshire. The school is situated off the Hardenhuish Lane in the southern region of Hardenhuish Park, which is all that separates it from Hardenhuish School to the north.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Derry Hill</span> Human settlement in England

Derry Hill is a village in the English county of Wiltshire, in the civil parish of Calne Without. It has an elevated position at the northern edge of the Bowood House estate, about 3 miles (5 km) south-east of the centre of the town of Chippenham.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bremhill</span> Village in Wiltshire, England

Bremhill is a village and civil parish in Wiltshire, England. The village is about 1.6 miles (2.6 km) northwest of Calne and 4 miles (6.4 km) east of Chippenham. The name originates from 'Bramble hill'.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Langley Burrell</span> Human settlement in England

Langley Burrell is a village just north of Chippenham, Wiltshire, England. It is the largest settlement in the civil parish of Langley Burrell Without which includes the hamlets of Peckingell and Kellaways.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Christian Malford</span> Human settlement in England

Christian Malford is a village and civil parish in the county of Wiltshire, England. The village lies about 4+12 miles (7 km) northeast of the town of Chippenham. The Bristol Avon forms most of the northern and eastern boundaries of the parish. The hamlets of Thornend and Upper Town lie within the parish.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">A363 road</span>

The A363 is a main road in the United Kingdom which runs through Bath and North East Somerset and Wiltshire. It provides a link between the small market towns of West Wiltshire and Bath, the M4 westbound, and the M5. It runs from the A4 at Bathford to the A350 at Yarnbrook, passing through Bradford-on-Avon and Trowbridge. It also links Westbury by merging with the A350.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Abbeyfield School, Chippenham</span> Community school in Chippenham, Wiltshire, England

Abbeyfield School is a Coeducational secondary school and sixth form located in Chippenham, Wiltshire, England.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hardenhuish School</span> Academy in Chippenham, Wiltshire, England

Hardenhuish School is a large mixed secondary school and sixth form in Chippenham, Wiltshire, England, for students aged 11 to 18. Together with Abbeyfield School and Sheldon School, it is one of three secondary schools in the town with academy status. The school's headteacher is Lisa Percy.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Malmesbury</span> Town in Wiltshire, England

Malmesbury is a town and civil parish in north Wiltshire, England, which lies approximately 14 miles west of Swindon and 9 miles north of Chippenham. The older part of the town is on a hilltop which is almost surrounded by the upper waters of the Bristol Avon and one of its tributaries.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Chippenham Park F.C.</span> Association football club in England

Chippenham Park Football Club was a football club based in Chippenham, Wiltshire, England. They were members of the Wiltshire League and Western League, and played at Hardenhuish Park.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Yelde Hall</span> Municipal building in Chippenham, Wiltshire, England

The Yelde Hall is a public facility in the Market Place, in Chippenham, Wiltshire, England. The building, which was the meeting place of Chippenham Borough Council, is a Grade I listed building.


  1. 1 2 "Chippenham". City population. Retrieved 25 October 2022.
  2. "Chippenham relief road: £75m plan approved by government". BBC News. 5 November 2019.
  3. From the inscription on the Buttercross.
  4. "The Yelde Hall and the Council Chamber". British listed buildings. Retrieved 16 December 2017.
  5. Scott McPherson (1 January 2009). "Protesters fight to save Chippenham beauty spot". Gazette & Herald . Archived from the original on 2 June 2020.
  6. "Facebook campaign to save Birds Marsh Wood from development". Bristol Post . 2 January 2009. Archived from the original on 28 April 2009. Retrieved 14 January 2009.
  7. "Chippenham campaigners celebrate partial victory in Birds Marsh battle". Gazette & Herald. 20 June 2013. Archived from the original on 2 June 2020.
  8. "Friends of Birds Marsh cautious as work to develop the area begins".
  9. "Lyneham 1991-2020 averages". Met Office. Retrieved 5 January 2022.
  11. "Chippenham census information". Wiltshire Community History. Wiltshire Council. Retrieved 28 March 2022.
  12. "What do we already know about Chippenham community area?" (PDF). Wiltshire Council .
  13. Joseph Archibald Chamberlain (1976). Chippenham: Some Notes on Its History. Charter Trustees. pp. 199pp. ISBN   0-9505451-0-4. BRN0066062.
  14. 1 2 3 Arnold Platts (1946). The history of Chippenham, A.D. 853–1946. Wiltshire Gazette Printing Works. pp. 98pp. BRN0141031.
  15. Sally Jefferies (1987). A Chippenham Collection. Chippenham Civic Society. pp. 107pp. BRN0541107.
  16. 1 2 3 "Chippenham Timeline". Museum & Heritage. Chippenham Town Council. Archived from the original on 2 November 2013.
  17. Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Chippenham"  . Encyclopædia Britannica . Vol. 6 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 238.
  18. "Antiquarian researches". The Gentleman's Magazine. Vol. 198–199. 1855. p. 415.
  19. Michael Wood (1981). In Search of the Dark Ages. BBC. p. 111. ISBN   0-563-17835-3.
  20. 1 2 "Chippenham". Wiltshire Community History. Wiltshire Council.
  21. Chippenham in the Domesday Book
  22. "History of the Yelde Hall". Chippenham Council. Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 16 December 2017.
  23. Benjamin Parkes (9 November 2006). "Last glimpse of canal". Gazette & Herald. Archived from the original on 25 January 2020. Retrieved 25 January 2020.
  24. "Investegate |Invensys PLC Announcements | Invensys PLC: Westinghouse Brakes Sold to Knorr-Bremse".
  25. 1 2 Mackley, Stefan (24 August 2016). "Eddie Cochran festival to return". The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald. Retrieved 25 September 2020.
  26. "Army to detonate wartime bomb". BBC News. 14 February 1998.
  27. 1 2 Chippenham Town Council (1989). Emma King (ed.). The Town Guide of Chippenham, Wiltshire. London: EJ Burrow.
  28. "Council Tax statistics for town and parish councils in England". GOV.UK. 3 June 2020. Archived from the original on 4 July 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2021.
  29. "Meeting of the Strategy and Resources Committee 09 December 2020" (PDF). Chippenham Town Council. Archived (PDF) from the original on 24 January 2021. Retrieved 21 February 2021.
  30. "Our Corporate Management Team". Chippenham Town Council. Archived from the original on 3 March 2021. Retrieved 21 February 2021.
  31. "Town Markets". Chippenham Official Guide, Wiltshire. Local Authority Publishing. Archived from the original on 13 October 2013.
  32. "Find a Store". The Co-Operative Group Online.
  33. "British towns twinned with French towns". Archant Community Media Ltd. Archived from the original on 5 July 2013. Archived at Wayback Machine
  34. "Chippenham Folk Festival 2021 (Fri 28th – Mon 31st May 2021)".
  35. "Olympiad Leisure Centre". D C Leisure Management .
  36. "Chippenham Beer Festival". North West Wiltshire branch. CAMRA. Archived from the original on 1 November 2013. Retrieved 2 November 2013.
  37. "Chippenham Sports Club, the premier Sports Club in Wiltshire".
  38. "Chippenham Tennis Club | Chippenham Sports Club".
  39. "".
  40. "Chippenham Town Bowls Club | Chippenham Sports Club".
  41. "Chippenham RFC Redirect".
  42. "Home :: Chippenham Golf Club".
  43. Rev. John Jeremiah Daniell; Canon Jackson (1894). The History of Chippenham. Paternoster Square, London: R.F. Houlston.
  44. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Chippenham Grammar School". Wiltshire Community History. Wiltshire Council. Retrieved 28 March 2022.
  45. "Chippenham District County School (S 8460): Sale of property – Order (Ref: ED 27/5268)". The National Archives .
  46. "Chippenham District County School (S 8460): Proposed appropriation of sum from... (Ref: ED 27/5269)". The National Archives .
  47. "Salute to the man behind Chippenham's John Coles park". Gazette & Herald. 30 April 2012. Archived from the original on 3 February 2020.
  48. "Chippenham District County School (S 8460): Endowed Schools Scheme for administration of... (Ref: ED 27/5270)". The National Archives .
  49. "Chippenham District County School (S.8460): Scheme 14th July, 1909 (Ref: ED 35/2686)". The National Archives .
  50. "Chippenham District County School (S 8460): Charitable Trusts Scheme 1922 (Ref: ED 27/8728)". The National Archives .
  51. "Chippenham Secondary School (formerly Chippenham District County School) (S.8460) (Ref: ED 35/6392)". The National Archives .
  52. Lawton, Andrew (10 November 2015). "New £21m Wiltshire College campus in Chippenham opens". Swindon Advertiser. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
  53. "Hardenhuish School, Chippenham". Wiltshire Council .
  54. "Sheldon School, Chippenham". Wiltshire Council .
  55. "Abbeyfield School, Chippenham". Wiltshire Council .
  56. "Religion, 2001 (KS07)". 2001 Census: Key Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Archived from the original on 3 November 2013.
  57. "Religion, 2011 (KS209EW)". 2011 Census: Key Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Archived from the original on 3 November 2013.
  58. "Saint Andrew's". Wiltshire Council . Retrieved 11 November 2010.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  59. "Saint Nicholas". Wiltshire Council . Retrieved 11 November 2010.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  60. "Saint Paul's". Wiltshire Council .
  61. "Saint Peter's". Wiltshire Council .
  62. "Saint Mary's". Wiltshire Council .
  63. "Monkton Hill Methodist Church". Wiltshire Council .
  64. "Elim Pentecostal Church". Wiltshire Council .
  65. "Ladyfield Evangelical Church". Wiltshire Council .
  66. "Oasis Church". Wiltshire Community History. Wiltshire Council. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  67. "Old Baptist Chapel". Wiltshire Council .
  68. "Salvation Army Citadel". Wiltshire Council .
  69. "Sheldon Road Methodist Church". Wiltshire Council .
  70. "Station Hill Baptist Chapel". Wiltshire Council .
  71. "Tabernacle United Reformed Church". Wiltshire Council .
  72. "Cepen Park Methodist Church". Wiltshire Council .
  73. "Primitive Methodist Chapel, The Causeway". Wiltshire Council .
  74. "Christian Science Society Church". Wiltshire Council .
  75. Joe Ware (14 January 2010). "Hullavington's Jamie marries at forest hideaway". Gazette and Herald. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  76. David Ainsworth (23 January 2013). "NSPCC appoints Peter Wanless as chief executive". Third Sector Magazine .
  77. Mary O'Hara (9 July 2013). "Peter Wanless, head of NSPCC: 'We are more focused on preventing abuse'". The Guardian .
  78. "Lunch with Peter Wanless, Chief Executive, Big Lottery Fund – The Future of Grant Makers". acevo .
  79. 1 2 Alex Winter (5 February 2011). "Regiments given freedom of Chippenham". Gazette & Herald. Archived from the original on 8 November 2019.
  80. "Regiment is given freedom of town". BBC News. 19 January 2012. Retrieved 7 December 2019.