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Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire

Historical Description

Chipping-Campden, a small market town and a parish in Gloucestershire, The town stands in a fertile valley, surrounded by cultivated hills and hanging woods, 6 miles NNW of Moreton-m-the-Marsh, and 7 W of Shipston-on-Stour. It consists chiefly of one street, nearly a mile long; and has about the centre a court-house and & market-house, the former a structure of the beginning of the 15th century or earlier, the latter erected in 1624 by Sir Baptist Hicks. It was the meeting-place of the Saxon Kings in 687, for consultation in the war against the Britons; and it became in the 14th century a principal mart for wool, and the residence of many opulent merchants; but it has lost all its manufacturing consequence. A large extant mansion, of nearly the same age as the court-house, is believed to have been the dwelling of one of the wool merchants. The town has a post, money order, and telegraph office (S.O.), and a station (called Campden) on the G.W.R.; a grammar-school, founded in 1487, rebuilt in 1864, with an endowment and an exhibition at Pembroke College, Oxford, and suites of alms-houses founded by Sir Baptist Hicks. The town-hall is a modern building. The town was incorporated by James I., and is governed by a steward, 2 bailiffs, and 24 burgesses. It is a seat of petty sessions. A weekly market is held on Wednesday and a cattle sale on the last Wednesday of every month. The Cotswold games, instituted in the time of James I., and sung by Ben Jonson, Drayton, and other poets, were held on Dover Hill, about half a mile from the town.

The parish includes also the hamlets of Berrington

The parish includes also the hamlets of Berrington, Broad-Campden, and Westington. Acreage, 4699; population, 1736. The manor belonged at Domesday to Hugh Lupus, Earl of Chester; was purchased, in the time of James I., by Sir Baptist Hicks, who was created Viscount Campden, and passed to the family of Noel. A magnificent mansion was built on the manor by Sir Baptist Hicks, and was burned by Lord Noel, grandson of Sir Baptist, to prevent its falling into the hands of the Parliamentary forces. Campden House, now the seat of the Earl of Gainsborough, who is lord of the 'manor, is a large modern mansion, 1½ mile W of the town. A great battle was fought between the Mercians and the West Saxons at Berrington; and the " barrows" over the bodies of the slain are supposed to have given rise to its name. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Gloucester and Bristol; net value, £386 with residence. The church is a large handsome edifice of the Decorated period, consisting of chancel, nave, aisles, two chapels, and pinnacled tower, 110 feet high; it contains an altar-tomb of the first Viscount 'Campden and his wife and other monuments of the Noel family; a brass to William Greville, a wool merchant (died 1401), and other brasses. There is a chapel of ease at Broad Campden, erected in 1868 to the memory of the first Earl of Gainsborough; a Roman Catholic chapel at Campden House, and Wesleyan and Baptist chapels.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyGloucestershire 
Ecclesiastical parishChipping Campden St. James 
Poor Law unionShipston 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Church Records

The register of St. James dates from the year 1616.

The Gloucestershire Parish Registers are available online at Ancestry, in association with Gloucestershire Archives.


Church of England

St. James (parish church)

The church of St. James is a large and handsome building of stone, in the Late Decorated or Early Perpendicular style, consisting of chancel, nave of five bays, aisles with chapels, south porch and an embattled western tower, with rich pinnacles, containing a clock and 8 bells, and a set of chimes which play every three hours; the chimes were thoroughly restored in 1890 by the family of the late Rev. Canon Kennaway, as a memorial to his widow, their mother: there is a very large canopied brass in the chancel, with effigies, merchant's marks and marginal inscription, to the memory of William Grevel, "the flower of the wool merchants of all England," ob. 1401, and Marian (Thornborough) his wife, ob. 1386; other brasses commemorate William Welley, merchant, ob. 1450, and Alice his wife; John Barker, ob. 1480, and William Gibbys, ob. 1484, with his three wives and thirteen children, all of whom were merchants and burgesses of Campden; all the brasses have been removed into the chancel, where also is a monument to Sir Thomas Smith knt. and lord of the manor 1593, with recumbent effigy in armour; below are bas-reliefs representing his two wives, thirteen living and two dead children: in the Noel chantry is a marble monument, with recumbent effigies, to Sir Baptist Hicks bart. first Viscount Campden, ob. Oct. 18, 1628, and Elizabeth (May) his wife, under a canopy, supported on twelve marble columns: there are inscriptions on the north and south sides: here also is another monument to Penelope, daughter of Edward Noel, Viscount Campden, and Juliana (Hicks) his wife, and wife of John, second Viscount Chaworth, ob. 1633; and a flat stone inscribed to Henry Hicks M.A. 50 years vicar, 1708, and Maria (Bartholomew) his wife, 1701: the exterior of the fabric was thoroughly restored in 1875-6 at a cost of over £4,000, when the nave and aisles were new roofed, the windows renovated and reglazed, the galleries removed, and the organ rebuilt and enlarged: the interior was restored in 1884 at a cost of over £1,000, under the direction of Messrs. Waller and Wood, architects, of Gloucester: the flouring being renewed, open benches substituted for pews, and carved oak stalls placed in the chancel: a new chancel screen was also erected and a new roof placed over the south porch: there are sittings for 600 persons.


Baptist Chapel

The Baptist chapel, erected in 1872, at a cost of upwards of £1,300, will seat about 300, and has a school, minister's residence, and burying ground at the back; it was entirely renovated in 1893.


Wesleyan Chapel

The Wesleyan chapel, built in 1841, has 200 sittings.

Roman Catholic

St. Catherine of Alexandria

The Catholic church of St. Catharine of Alexandria is a handsome building of "Campden ashlar" stone in the Gothic style of the 14th century, erected at a cost of £2,500, from designs by Mr. William Lunn, architect, of Malvern, and consists of chancel, nave, aisles, transept, belfry containing 2 bells, two sacristies, a side chapel dedicated to St. Bernard, and a Lady chapel, erected by public subscription to the memory of Lady Constance Bellingham. The roof of the chancel is entirely of oak, richly moulded: the window tracery presents twenty different designs. The site and stone were given by the Earl of Gainsborough.

Civil Registration

For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Chipping Campden from the following:

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Gloucestershire is available to browse.


Online maps of Chipping Campden are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following newspapers covering Gloucestershire online:

Villages, Hamlets, &c


Visitations Heraldic

The Visitation of the county of Gloucester, 1623 is available on the Heraldry page.

RegionSouth West
Postal districtGL55
Post TownChipping Campden