Chipping Campden in the Cotswolds

Saturday, 24 June 2023 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
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High Street © geograph.org.uk - John H Darch/cc-by-sa-2.0

High Street © geograph.org.uk – John H Darch/cc-by-sa-2.0

Chipping Campden is a market town in the Cotswold district of Gloucestershire, England. It is notable for its terraced High Street, dating from the 14th century to the 17th century. (“Chipping” is from Old English cēping, ‘market’, ‘market-place’; the same element is found in other towns such as Chipping Norton, Chipping Sodbury and Chipping (now High Wycombe).

A wool trading centre in the Middle Ages, Chipping Campden enjoyed the patronage of wealthy wool merchants, most notably William Greville (d.1401). The High Street is lined with buildings built from locally quarried oolitic limestone known as Cotswold stone, and boasts a wealth of vernacular architecture. Much of the town centre is a conservation area which has helped to preserve the original buildings. The town is an end point of the Cotswold Way, a 102-mile long-distance footpath.

'Frankie Doodle' © geograph.org.uk - Brian Chadwick/cc-by-sa-2.0 High Street © geograph.org.uk - Bill Boaden/cc-by-sa-2.0 High Street © geograph.org.uk - John H Darch/cc-by-sa-2.0 The old Market Hall © flickr.com - Mick/cc-by-sa-2.0 Town Hall © geograph.org.uk - Trevor Harris/cc-by-sa-2.0 Almshouses on Church Street © geograph.org.uk - Andrew Hill/cc-by-sa-2.0 Badgers Hall © geograph.org.uk - Ian S/cc-by-sa-2.0 Brooklyn Cottage on Park Road © geograph.org.uk - Ian S/cc-by-sa-2.0 East Banqueting House and St James' church - Saffron Blaze/cc-by-sa-3.0
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Almshouses on Church Street © geograph.org.uk - Andrew Hill/cc-by-sa-2.0
Since the early seventeenth century, the town has been home to a championship of rural games, which later turned into Robert Dover‘s Cotswold Olimpick Games. The games were discontinued in 1852 but revived in 1963 and still continue. The Olimpicks are held every summer on the Friday evening following the late Spring Bank-holiday (usually late May or early June), on Dover’s Hill, near Chipping Campden. Peculiar to the games is the sport of shin-kicking (hay stuffed down the trousers can ease one’s brave passage to later rounds). To mark the end of the games, there is a huge bonfire and firework display. This is followed by a torch-lit procession back into the town and dancing to a local band in the square. The Scuttlebrook Wake takes place the following day. The locals don fancy dress costumes and follow the Scuttlebrook Queen, with her four attendants and Page Boy, in a procession to the centre of town pulled on a decorated dray by the town’s own Morris Men. This is then followed by the presentation of prizes and displays of Maypole and Country dancing by the two primary schools and Morris dancing. Another procession from there past the fairground in Leysbourne and the Alms Houses brings that stage of the celebration to a close whilst the fair continues until midnight and, like a ghost, is gone by the morning. The 2019 Games agenda included events such as a children’s half-mile Junior Circuit, a Championship of the Hill race for adults and a Tug O’War competition. The organizers also planned fireworks, a torchlit procession, marching bands and cannons firing.

In the early 20th century, the town became known as a centre for the Cotswold Arts and Crafts Movement, following the move of Charles Robert Ashbee and the members of his Guild and School of Handicraft from the East End of London in 1902. According to the local historical society, the movement “focused on handmade objects, reacting against the rapidly growing dominance of machinery which resulted in the loss of craft skills”. The Guild of Handicraft specialised in metalworking, producing jewellery and enamels, as well as hand-wrought copper and wrought ironwork, and furniture-making. According to Historic England, “the Guild of Handicraft, founded by Ashbee in 1888, became one of the foremost Arts and Crafts workshops of its period .. formed the focus of the communal life which, as a pioneering social experiment, formed the most bold and important expression of Arts and Crafts principles”. The Guild ceased operation in 1907 but the centre for crafts offers a permanent exhibition of their work. A number of artists and writers settled in the area, including F. L. Griggs, the etcher, who built Dover’s Court (now known as New Dover’s House), one of the last significant Arts and Crafts houses. He set up the Campden Trust in 1929 with Norman Jewson and others, initially to protect Dover’s Hill from development. According to a 2018 report, Griggs “sympathetically restored houses on the High Street, battled against a tide of ugliness that engulfed other towns and villages and used money he could ill afford to safeguard its surroundings”. In 1934, he raised funds to buy the Coneygree field (where rabbits had been raised generations earlier) for the National Trust to ensure its protection. Many of Griggs’ etchings are preserved at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. H. J. Massingham, the rural writer who celebrated the traditions of the English countryside, also settled near the town, as did Arthur Gaskin. Ananda Coomaraswamy, the Sri Lankan philosopher and art critic and his wife the handloom weaver Ethel Mairet, settled at Broad Campden where Ashbee adapted the Norman chapel for him. In 2005, a group of traditional craftspeople moved into The Old Silk Mill building. As of 2019, there were 28 members of this co-operative.

Read more on Chipping Campden, Cotswolds.com – Chipping Campden, Wikivoyage Chipping Campden and Wikipedia Chipping Campden (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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