St Andrew's church, view from the Market place

Chippenham is a town in Wiltshire, England.


Chippenham is a market town in the south west of England, midway between the cities of Bath and Swindon. Its population has grown rapidly in recent years, and it is currently Wiltshire's third larest town with 40,000 inhabitants.

The rapid expansion in the last 10 years can be attributed to the development of the South West regional economy as a whole, and specifically to the new housing estates developed in Chippenham such as the recent Cepen Park North and South areas to the west of the town and the earlier Pewsham estate to the east.

The town lies in the Avon Vale, the broad valley of the River Avon in the low lying claylands of north west Wiltshire. Chippenham is located at a convenient crossing point of the River Avon, within close proximity of the nearby towns of Corsham, Calne, Melksham and Malmesbury. Higher ground lies to the east of the town at the Marlborough Downs, to the north at the Cotswolds and to the south at Salisbury Plain.


The origins of Chippenham are believed to be from before Roman times, with remains of settlements from this time claimed to be in the wall behind the former magistrates court in the town today.

During Saxon times it emerged as an early settlement around 600 AD. There may also have been a royal forest and hunting lodge here that was used by Alfred the Great.

The name Chippenham may have been originated from Cyppa's Hamme - perhaps a Saxon chief called Cyppa, or from the word ce-ap meaning market, and Hamme meaning enclosed by the river or an enclosed water meadow. In its early years this was an area of small family farms, perhaps concentrating on dairy farming and cheese making.

The name is also claimed to be recorded as Cippanhamm, Cepen, Cheppeham, Shippenham and Chippyngham. The Domesday Book listed Chippenham as Cepen, with a population of 600-700 people in 1086. The town received a charter of incorporation in May 1554 by Queen Mary.

Get in


Chippenham town centre is approximately 4 miles from Junction 17 of the M4, linking to Swindon, Reading and London to the East and Bristol and South Wales to the West. It lies on the A4 (linking to Bath in the West) and the A350 (linking to Warminster and the South coast).


The station buildings, seen from the south west. Front of the station.

Chippenham railway station (a little way out of the town centre) lies on the Great Western mainline from London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads, served by a half-hourly Intercity service (operated by First Great Western). The main station building (on the South side of the station) contains a staffed ticket office, 3 ticket machines and an independent café (serving food, drinks and newspapers). There are car parks on the North and South sides of the station and bicycle parking, a taxi rank and bus stops on the South side. Trains serve both sides of an island platform, accessed by steps from the North or South sides of the station. Step-free access requires assistance from station staff to cross at track level.

By bus

The town is served by a number of bus companies. First Group operates the 231/232 route to Bath (via Corsham) and 234 to Frome. Stagecoach operates the 55 to Swindon (via Calne and Royal Wootton Bassett). AD Rains, Andybus, APL Travel, Badgerline, Coachstyle and Faresaver operate a large number of services to surrounding towns and villages. Details can be found on Travel Search (Chippenham) and Wiltshire Council (North Wiltshire bus timetables).


National Express coach services call at Chippenham: Northampton to Bristol (302), Bath to London (403) and Penzance to London (404).


Surrounding the town are many ancient villages, including Lacock, Castle Combe, Langley Burrell, Kington Langley, Derry Hill, Kington St Michael, Colerne, Yatton Keynell and Biddestone.

There are also several manor houses and gardens nearby including Bowood Estate, Lacock Abbey, Sheldon Manor and Corsham Court, plus there is Castle Combe Circuit

World Heritage Site of Bath, Stonehenge and Longleat are popular day trips.




Chippenham has a small selection of fine local restaurants:

There are a selection of Indian and Chinese restaurants around the town, very few chain restaurants, with a Pizza Express in the town centre, Pizza Hut further out of town and McDonald's and Burger King around the town's bypass.

Pub Food


Town Centre

There are several hotels in the town centre, with more nearby.

Elsewhere in town

Nearby you can find:

Elsewhere out of town

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, February 21, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.