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Wiltshire Community History

Chippenham Timeline

There were 124 items found.


200-400       A Roman road to the south of Corsham and Lacock and a small settlement at Sandy Lane
C.600       Saxon settlement on higher ground to east of river - becomes a royal estate
853       Ethelswitha, older sister of King Alfred marries the King of Mercia in Chippenham's church
800s       Saxon minster church in which King Alfred's daughter was married
878       The Danes attack Chippenham after Christmas and force King Alfred to flee to the Isle of Altheney in Somerset
879       Danes besieged in Chippenham by King Alfred after Battle of Edington and surrender
901       King Alfred leaves his Chippenham estates to his daughter
940       Chippenham given charter by King Edmund
C.900       Probably a mint in the town as there are coins of coins of Ethelred II (978-1016) have the place-name Cepen (Chippenham) on them
1042       First documentary record of a church
1086       Chippenham a royal manor and in the Domesday book are listed 113 holders of arable land although there are still 6 square miles of woodland on the manor, which would have been home to many pigs as there are 23 swineherds recorded. The population of the whole estate, not just the main settlement was between 600 and 800 people
1264       From this time Chippenham sent 2 Members to Parliament
1282       Core of the present Sheldon Manor House dates from this year
1326       The Bell Inn, Market Street, in existence
1369       The Borough Arms incorporating arms from the Gascelyn and Hussey families becomes the Common Seal of Chippenham for use on documents
1442       Tower of St. Andrew's Church rebuilt
1474       Maud Heath gives land and property in Chippenham to construct a causeway from Wick Hill, in Bremhill, to Chippenham for people going to market
1500       By this date the Yelde Hall has been built
1554       Queen Mary gives the town a charter in which she gives the borough lands to help the borough pay for the maintenance of the bridge, the causeway and the expenses of 2 M.P.s
1555       An Act of Parliament passed stating that the repair of all roads within its boundaries was the responsibility of the parish
C.1570       Original Butter Cross erected in the market place
1580       Chippenham becomes a posting stage between London and Bristol for the Queen's horses
1611       A severe visitation of the plague with many dying
1614       The Yelde Hall is renovated
1643       Civil War; on the night of Saturday 8th July there was a running fight in Chippenham with General Waller pursuing the Royalist army after the Battle of Lansdowne
1649       Oliver Cromwell lodges at the White Hart on his way to Ireland
1660       Money given by Richard Scott in for a school in St. Mary's Street for the education of 15 poor boys (school may not have opened until early 18th century)
1664       William Woodroffe left £5 annually to be paid to a schoolmaster teaching 10 poor boys
1684       The town bridge is in such a fragile condition that several men were employed helping large pieces of ice through the arches of the bridge in the great frost; piers of the bridge might otherwise have been destroyed
1707       Waterford Mills (Messers Pocock & Co.) founded in Factory Lane
1736       The first workhouse in Chippenham built
1747       In January the London Flying Wagon caused considerable damage when the coach was involved in an accident in St. Mary's Street
C.1750       The building that became the Bear Hotel built by Chippenham builder John Provis
1757       Part of the town bridge collapses and is rebuilt and widened; Monkton House built around this time
1776       First recorded inoculation against smallpox in Chippenham
1779       Church of St. Nicholas, Hardenhuish, built
1780       The mail coach took 16 hours for the journey from Chippenham to London
1792       New Road is made by the turnpike trust; with the widening of the bridge 4 years later coach traffic no longer needs to go via Monkton Hill and Foghamshire en route between London and Bath
1796       Town bridge is widened to 30 feet, strengthened, more arches built and a stone balustrade provided
1798       The Chippenham branch of the Wilts & Berks Canal dug (to the site of the present bus station - The Wharf)
1799       The town bridge lit by oil lamps
1804       Old Baptist Church founded
1810       More than 12 cloth factories working in the town; Wilts & Berks Canal opens
1812       One of Chippenham's M.P.s is future Prime Minister Robert Peel
1816       Chippenham Mill burnt down (rebuilt in 1817)
1822       Battle between the men of the 2 Langleys and the men of Chippenham in the town. Two people killed and 31 injured
1834       Gasworks built at Westmead ; the town bridge lit by gas; The Town Hall built by Joseph Neeld at a cost of about £12,000
1835       Only one cloth factory still working in the town
1838       The National Schools (St. Andrew's) built in the parish churchyard
1840       The diarist Francis Kilvert born at Hardenhuish
1841       Railway viaduct (Western Arches) built by Brunel; Brunel has site office by present railway station. 31st May railway line from Chippenham to London opens
1842       Rowland Brotherhood moves to Chippenham and founds Chippenham Railway Works
1844       British School opens in Ladd's Lane (moves to Wood's Lane in 1856)
1848       Building of the Wilts, Somerset and Weymouth Railway provides a route to the south coast via Trowbridge and Westbury
1850       Neeld Hall built as an extension to the Town Hall
1854       Foundation stone of St. Paul's Church laid
1855       The cemetery opens in London Road. Roman Catholic Church built on Station Hill (replaced by present building in 1936)
1857       St. Paul's School opens
1858       Railway Station built by Rowland Brotherhood using stone from the excavation of Box Tunnel
1859       Three postal deliveries a day in the town, starting between 7.00 a.m. and 2.30 p.m. The workhouse at Rowden opened; it became the town's hospital in 1947
1861       Chippenham Tannery opens (closed 1928)
1865       A political riot after the election defeat of the Liberal Mr Lysley; 500 men, women and children involved, house windows smashed
1869       Hathaway's Churn Factory established - butter churns made until 1934
1873       The Néstle Milk Factory opens; first waterworks built and water pumped to 7 stand pipes in the town
1874       Post Office sorting office opens on Station Hill
1875       Parish Church of St. Andrew restored
1876       12th May first issue of the newspaper The Chippenham Chronicle, North Wiltshire & West Gloucestershire Advertiser; price one penny, the last issue was 14th July 1882
1879       Fountain erected in the Market Place
1882       The great flood puts out the fires at the gas works and flood houses in Foghamshire
1884       Elizabeth Utterson leaves 5 cottages in Lowden, 4 of them as homes for elderly ladies
1886       Church of St. Peter at Lowden built
1889       Mr E.C. Lowndes buys the Butter Cross for £6 and removs it into the grounds ofthe Manor House at Castle Combe
1892       There are 2 silk factories in the town
1893       Disastrous floods in the town
1896       The Isolation Hospital opens
1900       Secondary School opens in Cocklebury Lane (later Road)
1903       Saxby & Farmer move from Kilburn into O'Donnell's Engineering Works in Chippenham
1906       First sewerage works built for Chippenham
1907       The Ivy lane School opens; King Edward VII visits Chippenham
1909       Monkton Hill Wesleyan Methodist Chapel opens
1910       The market moves to an area at the back of the Neeld Hall
1912       Part of the Chippenham branch canal (from the Tunnel to the Wharf) is filled in
1914       First council houses, in Wood Lane, built and occupied
1914-1918       World War I; Neeld hall used as hospital
1915       Last cloth factory destroyed by fire
1920       A merger of companies brings the Westinghouse Brake & Signal Co. to Chippenham
1921       War memorial unveiled on 23rd May
1923       John Cole Park opens on 23rd May with a bandstand built that year. Result of a legacy fron local pharmacist and former Town Mayor
1930       Cloth industry ends in Chippenham - machinery is moved to Stroud
1935       An automatic telephone exchange erected in Cocklebury Road
1936       Classic Cinema built in Timber Street
1938       Chippenham Grammar School moves to Hardenhuish
1939       The Oxo Company opens a factory in Chippenham
1939-1945       Second World War; evacuees in Chippenham, many younger men in the armed forces, many women on war work, rationing, fear of bombing by planes returning from the Midlands, Westinghouse factory a Luftwaffe target; Home Guard formed, Air Raid Wardens, black outs at night, defences against invasion such as the pill box by the old Calne railway bridge, temporary army camps around Chippenham and American soldiers later in the war
1940       About half of Chippenham's population employed in engineering, mostly at Westinghouse
1945       Fire Station opens in Dallas Road
1948       College of Further Education opened in former Secondary School in Cocklebury Road
1950       Greenways Maternity Hospital opens
1951       First part of the Market opens at Cocklebury
1954       The whole Market moves out of the town to Cocklebury
1956       Secondary Modern School for Girls opens at Hardenhuish (later Sheldon)
1957       Monkton House bought by the local council after the death of owner, Lady Muriel Coventry; giant plane tree by town bridge felled when shops built. The Town Mill (on the site of the Domesday mill) demolished
1959       The present post Office built; a pedestrian bridge built across river; Secondary Modern School for Boys opens at Hardenhuish (later Sheldon)
1960       Heated 8 lane open air swimming pool opens in Monkton Park; singers Eddie Cochrane and Gene Vincent die in a road accident on Rowden Hill
1962       Town museum opened in the Yelde Hall by the borough council
1963       Museum opened in the Yelde Hall
1966       Town bridge over river replaced by a concrete one; only the stone balustrade remains; Néstle factory by Town Bridge closes
1967       Bewley House built as offices for Calne and Chippenham Rural District Council (now offices of North Wiltshire District Council)
1968       Monkton Park School opens; new Church of St. Peter built and consecrated
1973       The present Library in Timber Street is opened by Lord Eccles
1974       The present fire station built; The Borough Lands and Borough Funds transferred to the newly formed North Wiltshire District Council
1975       Brooke-Bond-Oxo closes in Westmead Lane with loss of 200 jobs. The grammar and secondary modern schools become co-educational comprehensive schools
1983       26th February, Twinning ceremony in Chippenham with the French town of La Fleche
1988       New inner relief road opens; named Avenue La Fleche after French twin town
1989       Olympiad leisure complex opens
1993       4th September, Twinning ceremony in Chippenham with the German town of Friedberg
1995       Butter Cross re-erected in the Market Place by Chippenham Civic Society
1998       Two World War II bombs found in Harden's Mead and detonated safely - 500 houses evacuated
2000       Town museum collection moved into the new Chippenham Museum & Heritage Centre
2001       Abbeyfield School opens at Stanley Lane in September
2003       The TIC moves into the Yelde Hall
2004       26 Sept. Stanley Park Sports Ground opened to the public, officially opened on 28 Oct. by the Town Mayor and Swindon Town F.C. goalkeeper, Rhys Evans
2007       Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre opens on 31st October
2008       Sorting Office closes on Station Hill and moves to Bumper's Farm

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