If you’ve heard of Chipping Sodbury, then you know that it’s less than a hundred miles from Bristol. For those who are not familiar with the place, it is a market town that survived through ancient times, and it still has that unique country flavour that it had back then. If you find yourself in the town, you’ll notice that the market square is expansive, which they called Chepynge in the medieval era. The prefix Chipping comes from the word Chepynge. The central locality of Chipping Sodbury is called Broad Street. It has a lot of houses that were built in the seventeenth century. It’s where the Mop Fair is held in the town square during March and September. Historically, it used to be a fair where people would hire servants.
Chipping Sodbury’s History
The first instance of Chipping Sodbury’s history that was recorded is when a man founded the town in the middle of the twelfth century. The man who founded the new town was William Crasu, who was the owner of the estates of Sodbury. It was based in a location above the two mills of the River Frome, which is where two trade routes diverged. The name didn’t have Chipping in it until around 1200. Chipping was added to the name was when the town was granted a Market Charter for the first time. The high street that you’d see nowadays is the legacy of how it was made with a medieval pattern. The pattern consisted of plots on each of the two sides of a wide central street. It also had a thin back lane that went behind some parts.
The town has a war memorial that dates back to 1919. It integrates the first Market Cross that existed way back in 1370, but it was replaced with a new one in the sixteenth century. Most houses that you find along Broad and High Street were built in between the seventeenth to eighteenth centuries. The oldest building around the area is in Hatters Lane. It is called Tudor House, and it was built back in 1460. When it was a popular trend, Victorian or Georgian facades were added to many of the area’s properties.
Chipping Sodbury wasn’t like other little market towns. The famous church wasn’t on a prime plot of land that was placed by the central street. It was placed in a back lane behind some buildings since the original layout plan didn’t consider where it would be placed on the main road. The original front of the church that was made the back-entrance in the thirteenth century and is still intact. Although, everything else of the church has gone through numerous additions and alterations around the nineteenth century.
In 1862, a police station was constructed on the former Duke William Inn’s site. It is most likely the area’s oldest working station. Directly outside of the police station is the clock tower, which is where you’ll find the tourist information centre today. It was initially constructed built as a monumental memorial to Dyrham’s Lt Col Blathwayt. The town hall’s facade was made in 1858. Even if the building was modernised, it is built on the site of the Fifteenth Guild Hall.
The town’s central shopping area is based around Broad and High Street. It has many outlets that range from clothes and antique shops to newsagents to a grocery. You will also find one of the greatest bakers in the region, which is called the Hobbs House Bakery. Chipping Sodbury is never going to fail as a market town in a long time. It has many public houses as well as restaurants, and they all ensure that the atmosphere in the city is lively.