Chipping Campden Things to Do

  • Things to Do
    by balhannah
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    Chipping Campden
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    Thatch Bird
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Most Recent Things to Do in Chipping Campden

  • The Old Silk Mill

    by Zza-Zza Written Jul 15, 2014

    The Old Silk Mill dates back to the turn of the last century. In 1902 C.R.Ashbee brought his Guild of Handicraft to Campden from London's East End. Ashbee was a follower of William Morris and had started the Guild in 1888 but believing that country living was better for handicrafts, he and 150 people with workshops and equipment moved to Campden.

    The Guild was dissolved in 1910 but many of the descendants of the Guildsmen still live in the town. The Silk Mill in Sheep Street, where Ashbee set up the Guild, still houses craftsmen, including the Robert Welch Design Studios and Hart’s workshop which carries on the family silversmithing business started by George Hart.

    By far the best thing to go see is David Hart and his team on the very top floor. Saturday mornings are the best time as you are more likely to be given a tour and have any questions answered. It feels like you're stepping back in time when you walk up the stairs but wait until you walk into their workshop! From old work tickets to old lathes.....this place is amazing. If you're lucky, you might even be shown a sheet of silver, one of the many fascinating pieces currently being made or one of the old original documents, detailing a piece that was commissioned.

    There is a coffee shop serving drinks and cakes on the ground floor with comfortable seating and free Wi-Fi. There are also a couple of tables out back, up 1 or 2 steps. Opposite the coffee shop, there is a gallery with many local craftsmen and artists work on show and items on sale.

    As you first walk in from the street, on your left hand side, there is a wonderful photograph on the wall of 4 craftsmen on Sheep Street from 1902. I spent an age just looking at this, imagining what it must have been like moving from London to Campden, all those years ago!

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    THATCHED ROOF ORNAMENT'S

    by balhannah Updated Jan 25, 2012

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    Another Cotswold Village, and more thatched roof Cottages.
    I wandered around, enjoying these beautiful home's, and then I noticed these were a little different.
    Located on top of the roof on several home's, were thatched Bird's!

    I wondered what the purpose was, just for show or to keep Bird's away or something else?
    The answer was....The ornament “it would show who had thatched it”.

    Straw ornaments on the thatch of houses have been recorded as far back as 1689.
    Old country beliefs were they would keep away both birds and witches. The designs were originally of a religious nature, thus intended to scare away witches, now day's aeroplanes, fishes, pigs, dragons, anything really can be thatched, but traditional pheasants and foxes are still the favorite's.

    The craft of thatching often runs in families, and the creative skills are passed down.

    Now I know why, all very interesting!

    Chipping Campden Thatch Bird
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    Hidecote Manor Gardens

    by Andrew_W_K Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Just 3 miles east of Chipping Campden is Hidecote Manor Gardens, a National Trust site but well worth a visit if you a keen gardener or garden lover. There are extensive gardens that will take a couple of hours to get around and appreciate.
    Originally the work of American Major Lawrence Johnston he gave the gardens to the National Trust in 1948 and they are still being enjoyed by thousands of visitors every year.
    Its expensive even by National Trust standards (£8.60 adult admission as at May 2010) but worth it (just).
    There is a cafe and shop on site and plenty of parking room.

    Hidecote Manor Gardens Hidecote Manor Gardens Hidecote Manor

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    Blockley

    by Andrew_W_K Written Jul 31, 2010

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    Just a couple of miles south of Chipping Camden is the interesting and picturesque little village of Blockley, often overlooked by its more famous (and prettier) neighbours, Chipping Camden and Broadway. Its worth a detour though as its another Cotswold village with its own character and being set in the bottom of a small valley quite different from the places nearby.

    Blockley church

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    St. James Church

    by King_Golo Written Jul 14, 2010

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    Visibly from nearly everywhere, St. James Church towers impressively on top of a hill in the middle of Chipping Campden. The church was built from the 13th century on on the site of a former Norman church. It is a good example for England's Perpendicular style which was popular at the time the wool business flourished in the Cotswolds. You can find the grave of one very successful wool trader, William Grevel, in the church.

    St. James

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    High Street

    by King_Golo Updated Jul 14, 2010

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    Chipping Campden's High Street is the place to be. The street is lined with typical Cotswolds houses which appear very neat and original. This is due to the Campden Trust, a lobby group that aims to preserve the local properties as beautiful as possible. Therefore, "intrusive modern shopfronts" are not allowed, and neither are telegraph and power cables. While this makes the High Street look very nice and picturesque, the Trust should have gone further and ban cars from the sides of the street as well. It is kind of hard to imagine oneself in the good old times when the tourists (and locals) have their S.U.V.s or vans parked nearly everywhere...

    High Street

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    Broadway Tower

    by Andrew_W_K Written May 13, 2010

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    Just 2 miles west of Chipping Camden is the 18th century folly of Broadway Tower. One of the highest points on the Cotswolds the views are truly outstanding here. The tower is part of a country park that includes a herd of deer. You can enter the tower for a fee but the views are just as good from the hill it stands on.
    Nearby at the car park there is a shop and cafe.

    Broadway Tower The views from Broadway Tower

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    Hidcote Manor Garden

    by trvlrtom Written Jul 29, 2008

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    This is one of England's great gardens. It is actually more like a complex of several garden areas in one location, each section with its own personality. Tall hedges and walls separate the gardens into what seem like rooms full of different textures and colors. Some are more formal than others, some have water features, but all are interesting. From several locations three are good views of the surrounding pastoral countryside.
    You may want to check their website to see what is available at different times of the year. They have activities such as painting and gardening workshops occasionally, and also let you know what to expect to be in bloom.

    a walkway at Hidcote Manor
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  • Tour of the Cotswolds

    by searchingsandals Updated Nov 30, 2007

    We just returned from a trip to London. We wanted to go to the Cotswolds, but we didn't want to relocate, so we made a day trip.

    We took a train from Paddington Station to Cheltonham Spa, about two hours. There we were met by David Walker (http://www.tour-cotswolds.co.uk/index.html) who drove us for the day at a cost of ninety pounds for the two of us. It was a gorgous day with a knowledgable guide who thoroughly enjoys his work.

    I can't praise him enough. Check it out. He does various tours of the area, cutomized for the client.

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    Blenheim Palace-Oxfordshire

    by dbeatty Written Oct 29, 2006

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    The is the most fabulous palace in all of England, or so I'm told...and the birthplace of Winston Churchill. The grounds are fabulous and enormous and the tour of the castle is free!! The Duke of Marlborough is actually still in residence. There is a beautiful lake with an awesome bridge, a boathouse, a waterfall, and much more. You can spend a full day here I'm sure. There is a restaurant and gift shop.

    Vanbrugh's Grand Bridge lake bridge the lake the boathouse
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    The house on the hill

    by iandsmith Updated Sep 9, 2006

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    We were on our way out, heading north to Dethick in the Peak District but, in usual Ian Smith can't-go-past-anything-remotely-interesting-without-taking-a-picture mode, I stopped. Actually, I knew I was going to stop some minutes before. Any church with a steeple that stood out as this one did had to have some history. One is never disappointed as they are so often the receptacles of history thoughout Europe, not always for the right reasons which makes them nonetheless even more interesting.
    I had wandered out to the graveyard, fascinated yet again by the headstones whose age can roughly be told by the ease of decipherability. Most before the 1800's are unreadable if exposed to the weather.
    It was not so much the graves that caught my attention however, it was a building next door in a paddock. If I had been born a cat I would have died a thousand times over, such is my curiousity. I was inexorably drawn to this edifice and not even a fence was about to stop me. (continued)

    Magnetic forces at work
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    The Town Hall

    by evaanna Updated Sep 4, 2006

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    I took a photo of this building without knowing what it was. I simply thought it was lovely: it looked really ancient - made of stone and with a stone porch, a clock and many other interesting features. Back at home I tried to find its characteristic shape on the Internet - in vain. Instead, I found a link to the Campden Archives where they invited inquiries and sent an e-mail to them. The reply came almost immediately - thank you, Carol Jackson - the building was the Town Hall of Chipping Campden. Dating back to the 1400's, it stands in the middle of the Market Square and over the years has had many uses. It has served as a school room, a gaol, a Court House, a Wool Exchange, a library, a dance hall and even housed the fire brigade wagon. Nowadays it is used for meetings, exhibitions, lectures and hired for weddings and other celebrations. Wouldn't it be great to have your wedding party there?

    The Town Hall, Chipping Campden
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    St Catharine's Roman Catholic Church

    by evaanna Updated Sep 4, 2006

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    The Catholic Church of St Catharine was built in 1891 in the Victorian Gothic style, but with some arts and crafts touches, e.g. woodwork, carving, stained glass windows. The land for the site was provided by the 3rd Earl of Gainsborough, Charles William Francis Noel, whose father had converted to Catholicism, so there was a need for a Catholic church in Chipping Campden. The architect was William Lunn of Malvern. The church boasts beautiful stained glass windows made by Paul Woodroffe.
    The Church and its school run by nuns played an important role after World War II when there were many displaced Polish families living nearby at the Springhill National Hostel for displaced persons. Hidden up a lane behind the church are some sad Polish graves of those who did not live to see Poland free.
    I wish to thank Carol Jackson of the Cadhas Archive Room Team for information on this church.

    St Catherine's Church
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    The High Street

    by evaanna Written Sep 4, 2006

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    The High Street of Chipping Campden is lined with many superb Cotswold stone buildings. Varying in style, they were built by wealthy merchants between the 14th and 17th centuries. At its north end is the 14th century Grevel House, the oldest house in the town, with its beautifully decorated windows, gargoyles and a sundial set in one of the walls. Another building which we did not get to because of the heat. But the other houses are just as beautiful and each is different, representing a great diversity of styles and tastes. Inside there are numerous businesses, many of them continuing the long held traditions of local crafts: potters, jewellers, stonecarvers, silver and gold smiths, builders specialising in traditional Cotswold building and many more.
    I think it is because of the heat, which kept people in their houses, that the town looked sleepy and deserted on the day we came. But the people that were there all seemed to know each other, standing in the street exchanging news and gossip, or just saying hello to the passers-by.

    Houses in the High Street, Chipping Campden
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    The Market Hall

    by evaanna Written Sep 4, 2006

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    The Market Hall, in the centre of the High Street, is probably the best known building in Chipping Campden. It was constructed in 1627 by Sir Baptist Hicks, Viscount Campden, to give shelter to market traders. Sir Baptist Hicks is renowned for his generosity to the poor and needy. In 1612 he founded the Almshouses where twelve poor men and women lived on an allowance given to them weekly. They are now inhabited by twelve pensioners. Although the Market Hall is now owned by The National Trust, it is still used for its original purpose and a notice inside lists the rules of its use.

    Chipping Campden Market Hall Notice inside the Market Hall
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