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Things to do in Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire

Hidcote Manor Gardens in the Cotswolds, Gloucestershire
Hidcote Manor Gardens © Shutterstock / David Hughes

The historic town of Chipping Campden in north Gloucestershire is a Mecca for visitors, from home and abroad. Chipping Campden is set on the edge of the Cotswolds in a gentle valley, amid rolling hills, verdant pastures and wide skylines that typify the North Cotswolds.

Anyone searching for the heritage of the Middle Ages, will find it in Chipping Campden. Take a walk along High Street and a step back in time.

Beautiful cotswold stone house and garden in Chipping Campden
Chipping Campden © Shutterstock / Steve Heap

Old coaching inns like the 16th century Kings Arms and the historic Noel Arms Hotel have been welcoming guests for many centuries. Some of the golden stone houses, date back to the 14th and 15th centuries.

Varying in size from cottages with dormer windows, to splendid large gabled houses with monastic looking doorways set in stone arches, many retain their original oriel or mullioned windows.

Honey coloured Cotsworld stone homes in Chipping Campden
Chipping Campden © Shutterstock / Paul Matthew Photography

The house of William Grevel, ancestor of the Warwick family, is a fine example, with its two-storied gabled bay window, built about 1380.

Chipping Campden War Memorial
War Memorial © Shutterstock / David Hughes

The famous Wool Market or Market Hall stands in the High Street, its picture is sent around the world on post-cards and calendars. This little golden stone building, with its arched and timbered roof, epitomises the Cotswolds, whose history encompasses sheep, wool and oolitic limestone.

Not surprisingly, offers from visiting tourists have been made to buy it, dismantle and transport it across the world and have it re-assembled - and who could be blamed for wanting this historic 'gem' in their home town.

The Market Hall was built in 1627 by Sir Baptist Hicks, later first Lord Campden, his family owned it until 1942 when it was purchased by the National Trust.

The Market Hall ancient building in the centre of Chipping Campden
Market Hall © Shutterstock / Gail Johnson

Sir Baptist Hicks, a philanthropist and great friend of Charles I, was a generous benefactor to Chipping Campden.

His gift of the attractive Alms Houses just off High Street were built in 1624, they survive in excellent condition.

The Old Banqueting Hall and Church at Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, England
The Old Banqueting Hall and Church © Shutterstock / Andrew Roland

Nearby a collection of buildings arouse the curiosity of many visitors; these are a lodge house, two pavilions and an almonry, all that remains on the estate where Sir Baptist Hicks' beautiful country residence Campden House stood.

During the Civil War Sir Baptist ordered the house to be burnt down, declaring he would rather have it burnt to the ground than fall into the hands of the Parliamentarians.

St James Church and graveyard in old Cotswold town of Chipping Campden
St James Church © Shutterstock / Steve Heap

The medieval church of St. James built in the Perpendicular style, was completed in 1500 with the creation of its 120-foot pinnacled tower, a landmark for miles around.

The tall nave arcades with soaring columns, the clerestory and chancel arch were built with fine craftsmanship in the 15th century, when Campden's prosperity from the wool trade was at its zenith.

St James Church with ornate stonework for gateway to Campden house in the foreground
St James Church and Gateway to Campden House © Shutterstock / Steve Heap

William Grevel the 'wool king' was largely responsible for the building of St. James, memorial brasses to him and his wife are set in the floor of the chancel before the high alter.

Sir Baptist Hicks presented the pulpit in 1612, and later, the Flemish-made brass lectern. The South Chapel contain effigies of him and his wife.

The Eight Bells Inn, Chipping Campden, The Cotswolds, Gloucestershire, England
The Eight Bells Inn © Shutterstock / Arena Photo UK

Nearby are the two famous gardens, Kiftsgate Court the home of the biggest rose in England, and Hidcote Manor Gardens. Contrasting in styles, both are a joy to visit.

Kiftsgate Court Gardens in Mickleton near Chipping Campden
Kiftsgate Court Gardens © Shutterstock / Jamesdavidphoto

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