Another trip to the Midlands, this time via the A44 through Chipping Camden and Broadway in the Cotswolds. Chipping Norton is the highest town in Oxfordshire; the word 'Chipping' is derived from ceapen, an old English word meaning market. Alternatively the meaning comes from the medieval word Chepynge meaning long Market Square as will also be found at Chipping Campden and Chipping Sodbury.
The centre of Chipping Norton is a typical picturesque Cotswold town with many attractive buildings. The Town Hall stood out in the morning sunlight.
Behind the ‘new’ Town Hall is a pillar from the old Market Hall and Town Cross.
The Almshouses on Church Lane look as if they were taken from the pages of a romantic novel. They were given to the town in 1640 by Henry Cornish who was a prominent puritan in Chipping Norton in the 17th Century. They were to be used by eight poor widows.
The 15ty century Church of St Mary is very impressive. It is one of the largest of the magnificent Cotswold churches financed by the proceeds of the medieval wool trade. It is listed Grade I.
The church also has one of only three medieval hexagonal porches in the country.
In the graveyard there are several examples of doomed tombs.
A couple of signs also stood out; one sad......
.....and one that we could hardly believe – ‘Free Parking’!
We then moved on to Broadway and were disappointed. Broadway is the village that tourists head for and commercialism (tea rooms and antique shops) have taken over. There was even a ‘Christmas Shop.
The Church of St Michael & All Angels was also a disappointment. Whist St Mary's in Chipping Norton was warm and welcoming with many interesting features (and a very good two page guide), the Victorian makeover in 1840 has done nothing for this church.