Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for CHIPPENHAM

CHIPPENHAM, a town, a parish, a sub-district, a district, and a hundred in Wilts. The town stands on the river Avon, the Berks and Wilts canal, and the Great Western railway, 12 miles NE by E of Bath. It was a seat of the Wessex kings; was the place of Alfred's court, both before and after his defeat of the Danes; was the head-quarters of the Danes during his retirement to Selwood forest; and belonged, at Domesday, to the Crown. A causeway was made through it, in 1474, by Maud Heath, from Chippenham cliff to Wick hill, a distance of 4 miles; and is marked, at intervals, with upright inscribed stones. The surrounding country is rich, and abounds with fine seats. Two chalybeate springs are in the vicinity; and pipes from one of them to the town were laid in 1865. The town occupies a slope; includes a main street, of considerable length; and has, of late years, been much improved. A stone bridge, of 22 arches, spans the Avon, and is a fine feature. The town hall is a modern structure, built at a cost of £12, 000, and thrice extended, at an additional cost of £1, 000. The cheese market presents a frontage of 50 feet; and has a covered area of 15, 500 feet. The parish church is variously Norman, early, decorated, and perpendicular English; includes a very curious chapel, with memorials of the Hungerfords; has a tower of late perpendicular, with a spire; contains a monumeut, of 1627, to Sir Gilbert Prynne; and was recently subjected to thorough repair. There are several dissenting chapels, a free school, a literary institution, a fine temperance-hall of 1863, a head post office, ‡ a railway station with telegraph, three banking offices, and three chief inns. A weekly market is held on Friday; and fairs on 17 May, 22 June, 29 Oct., and 11 Dec. Trade is carried on in cloth manufacture, silk weaving, iron-working, and extensive sale of corn and cheese. The town is a borough by prescription; sent two members to parliament till 1867, but now sends only one; and is governed by a mayor, four aldermen and twelve councillors. Its m. limits include only part of Chippenham parish; while its p. ones include Chippenham, Langley-Burrell, and Harden. huish parishes, and the extra-p. tract of Pewsham. Real property in 1860, £17, 639. Direct taxes in 1857, £5, 119. Electors in 186, 407. Pop. of the m. borough in 1841, 1,875; in 186, 1, 603. Houses, 300. Pop. of the p. borough in 184, 6, 606; in 1861, , 075. Houses, , 345. john Scott, the author of the " Christian Life, " and Lodowick Muggleton, the founder of the sect of Muggletonians, were natives. Charities, £236.

The parish includes Allington, Nethermore, Stanley, and Studley tythings, and Tytherton-Lucas chapelry. Acres, 9, 100. Real property, £2, 316. Pop., 5, 396. Houses, 1, 021. The property is very much subdivided. There are two livings, the one a vicarage with Tytherton chapelry, the other one a p. curacy but now a rectory, in the diocese of Gloucester and Bristol. Value of the former, £284; * of the latter, £200. Patron of the former, Christ-church, Oxford; of the latter, the Bishop of G. and B. -The sub-district contains the parliamentary borough of Chippenham and the parish of Laycock. Acres, 1, 288. Pop., 8, 574. Houses, 1, 670. -The district comprehends also the sub-district of Corsham, containing the parishes of Corsham, Colerne, Ditteridge, Box, Slaughterford, Biddestone-St. Nicholas, and Biddestone-St. Peter; the sub-district of Castle-Combe, containing the parishes of Castle-Combe, Littleton-Drew, Grittleton, Leigh-de-la-Mere, Yatton-Keynell, Nettleton, West Kington, and North Wraxhall; and the sub-district of Christian-Malford, containing the parishes of Christian-Malford, Kington-St. Michael, Stanton-St. Quiutin, Draycot-Cerne, Sutton-Benger, Seagry, and Tytherton-Kelways, and the extra-parochial tract of Avon. Acres, 60, 035. Poor-rates, in 1862, £1, 030. Pop. 184, 23, 298; in 1861, 22, 029. Houses, 4, 539. Marriages in 1860, 121; births, 673, -of which 34 were illegitimate; deaths, 415, -of which 155 were at ages under 5 years, and 30 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 1, 321; births, 6, 909; deaths, 4, 493. The places of worship in 1851 were 27 of the Church of England, with 8, 498 sittings; 13 of Independents, with 336 s.; 10 of Baptists, with 1, 708 s.; 4 of Wesleyan Methodists, with 644 s.; 10 of Primitive Methodists, with 934 s.; 1 of Wesleyan Reformers, with 160 s.; 2 of Brethren, with 260 s.; and 1 undefined, with 40 attendants. The schools were 27 public day schools, with 1, 915 scholars; 43 private day schools, with 837 s.; and 34 Sunday schools, with 2, 668 s. There are two work-houses, the one in Chippenham, the other in Laycock. - The hundred is of similar extent to the district; but has different boundaries. Acres, 60, 142. Pop., 20, 249. Houses, 4, 201.

(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a town, a parish, a sub-district, a district, and a hundred"   (ADL Feature Type: "cities")
Administrative units: Chippenham AP/CP       Chippenham Within CP       Chippenham Hundred       Chippenham SubD       Chippenham PLU/RegD       Wiltshire AncC
Place: Chippenham

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