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Pictures of Chipping Norton

a Historic Market Town in the county of Oxfordshire

About Chipping Norton

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Interestingly, this picturesque Cotswold town had one woollen mill that continued in production right up until 1980. The original Bliss Mill belonged to William Bliss, one of Chipping Norton's great benefactors who was largely responsible for establishing the town as a centre for fine cloth. The present mill, built in 1872 continued to produce Tweed until it closed in 1980. The building was sold and developed into apartments but fortunately the buildings massive stack was retained and is a dominant feature as you enter Chipping Norton from the north.

The town is 'hilly' and at 700ft is the highest town in Oxfordshire. Some of the roads are winding and a little 'higgledy-piggledy' but this all adds to the character and collective charm of the place. Medieval merchants flocked to the Cotswolds, many of them settling here and the town thrived from the riches gleaned from the fleece of the sheep who grazed in the lush countryside beyond. During this period of prosperity many beautiful buildings were built. The town shows fine Cotswold stone buildings from the 17th-century and as with many other 'wool' towns, Chipping Norton has a fine parish church. The church of St.Mary the Virgin is one of the largest parish churches in Oxfordshire. The south porch is hexagonal and stands two storeys high, there is a west tower and the 15th-century nave is clerestoried. The magnificent interior shows many treasures amongst which are fine brasses and monuments from the 16th-century, resplendent with effigies. Close to the church are almshouses from the 17th-century.

In the centre of the town there are several early glowing Cotswold stone properties. The Crown and Cushion Inn dates 1497 and was a former coaching inn. Sadly, The White Hart, a staging post and coaching inn from the 18th-century is currently being converted into luxury apartments. The old Guildhall has windows of Tudor origins. Some former private houses with historic associations have been converted into interesting antique shops and buyers from all over regularly converge here to rummage for antiquities.

Chipping Norton lies in the midst of beautiful cotswold countryside and is surrounded by other villages that radiate the glory of traditional honey-coloured cotswold stone Manor Houses and magnificent Churches. It is a town to be explored and enjoyed and will leave you with many happy memories.

Attractions nearby include; The Rollright Stones - mysterious relics of a Neolithic burial site, the beautiful old town of Stow-on-the-Wold and the delightful town of Bourton-on-the-Water.

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