I stopped off here on my way back from a quick whizz round Moreton-in-the-Marsh, Stow-on-the-Wold and Little Rollright in the Cotswolds.
Shipston is in Warwickshire, right on the very edge of the Cotswolds area, so I thought it might be interesting to explore. It's a small market town, and would make a good (and slightly less expensive) base for a holiday exploring the lovely-but-tourist-popular Cotswolds area (and Stratford-on-Avon, just up the road).
The town was probably in existence as a settlement long before the Romans came, becoming known as 'sheep-wash town' because sheep were washed in the river Stour.
Later, spinning and weaving associated with the wool industry became important local industries. The town received its market charter in 1288, and was yet another coaching stop as many of the inns-with-archways show.
There is an interesting range of architecture in Shipston: 'Tudor' wattle and daub with wooden frame, mellow local limestone, Georgian four-square brick, Regency........but, to be brutally frank, not much else to detain the passing traveller. Quite a lot of independent shops though, which makes a refreshing change from the usual run-of-the-mill high street chainstores.
St Edmunds, the town centre church, looked interesting and is certainly very old (the tower dates from the 15th century)....but inside it has been thoroughly 'refurbished', with wooden flooring overlying the original slabs, new pews, new plaster on the walls. Pretty sterile from an historical point of view, though (I suppose) evidence of a living and thriving faith.