- Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire
Infobox UK place
official_name= Chipping Norton
region= South East England
shire_district= West Oxfordshire
Chipping Norton is a
townin the West OxfordshireDistrcit of Oxfordshire, England, located convert|18|mi|km|0 north west of Oxford. It is the highest town above sea levelin the county. Popular with tourists who use it as a gateway to the Cotswolds, Chipping Norton is a lively town that services a wide number of surrounding villages, continuing the tradition that gave it its name.
The "Chipping" in Chipping Norton means "
market", revealing the town's past importance as a commercial centre for the Evenlode valley. In mediaeval times, the Cotswolds were one of the wealthiest parts of England due to the production of wool. At that time, Chipping Norton grew in importance. Many of the mediaeval buildings built as a result remain in the town centre, adding to its character. There are also many buildings dating from the 18th century. The town was one of the boroughs reformed by the Municipal Corporations Act 1835, it retained its status as a municipal boroughuntil 1974, when the Local Government Act 1972made it a successor parishwithin the district of West Oxfordshire.
Rollright Stonesnearby consist of a stone circleand two sets of related standing stones.
In 2001, Chipping Norton was described as the social "
G-spot" of Great Britain by " Tatler". [http://archive.thisisthecotswolds.co.uk/2001/8/23/21479.html]
The name Chipping Norton means 'market north town' ('chipping' = 'market'). It is not clear what the original
Saxonsettlement was north of but John Blair, Professor of Medieval History and Archaeology at Oxford University, suggested in 2000 at a lecture in Chipping Norton Town Hall that Charlbury, now a smaller town to the south, was in Anglo-Saxontimes a more important minster town and that the nor- prefix refers to this geographical and pastoral relationship.
Chipping Norton began as a few houses with a church and
castleat the bottom of the hill. Only the earthworks of the castle remain, but the church is a fine example of a wool churchenlarged by local merchants who grew rich on the profits of the Cotswold wool trade. To promote the trade a new market was laid out in 1205, which formed the new town centre higher up the hill, where it still is today.
In the Middle Ages people came to buy and sell at the markets and fairs which gave Chipping Norton its name. There is still a weekly market every Wednesday and the "
Mop Fair" in September.
Later, sheep farming was largely replaced by
arable, but agricultureremained important in this part of the Oxfordshire Cotswolds. Many of the original houses around the market place were rebuilt in the 18th century with fashionable Georgian architecturefrontages. In the Victorian eraWilliam Bliss built his spectacular tweedmill and there was a brewery, glove-making factory, a tanneryand an iron foundryas the town grew in size.
In 1581, the neo-Latin poet
Elizabeth Jane Weston, also known as Westonia, was born here. She soon moved to Praguewith her mother and stepfather Edward Kelley, an alchemistat the court of Emperor Rudolf II. She died in Prague in 1612. James Hindwas born in 1616 in the town. He was a notorious highwaymanin the area, executed for high treasonin 1652.
The town owes much to William Bliss, who established the foundation of the textile industry using modern technology of the
industrial revolution. After a blaze at the old works he built the impressive new mill in 1872, which remains a landmark on the edge of the town. The mill closed in 1980 and has since been converted into residential accommodation.
the ReverendEdward Stone (1702–68), while living in Chipping Norton, reported to the Royal Societythat willowbark relieved pain, later discovered to contain 2-Hydroxybenzoic acid (Salicylic acid) a mild analgesic, and prepared via esterificationinto aspirin. Michael Volkin (editor), "Nuffield Advanced Chemistry Students Book", Longman, 2000, ISBN 0-582-32835-7]
Chipping Norton is home to Top Gear's presenter
Jeremy Clarkson, while former comedian Ronnie Barker(deceased 2005) used to run the local antique shop "The Emporium" after he retired from showbusiness in 1987. Actor Wentworth Miller(achieving fame in " Prison Break") was born in Chipping Norton when his father studied at Oxford University. Actress Rachel Wardwas born in the town. The world record-holding ocean rower Janice Meeklived for many years in Chipping Norton. She was the first female Chairman of the Chipping Norton Chamber of Commerce, served on the Town Council and served for one year as Mayor. [http://archive.thisisoxfordshire.co.uk/1998/3/2/86692.html] Joseph Allen was born in Chipping Norton, moved to Canada, and became a business owner and mayor of Verdun, Quebec, a former city on the Island of Montreal. The Who drummer Keith Moononce owned the "Crown and Cushion Hotel" in the High Street.
There are three
schoolsin Chipping Norton:
*Holy Trinity (Primary). Years: Foundation Stage-Year 6 (Saint name classes eg. St Peters)
*St Mary's (Primary). Years: Foundation Stage-Year 6 (Year name classes eg. Year 3)
*Chipping Norton School (Secondary). Years: Year 7-6th Form (Tutor Groups eg. 7W)
Notes and references
* [http://www.chippingnorton.net ChippingNorton.net]
* [http://www.chippingnortontown.info Chipping Norton Town Partnership]
* [http://www.chipping-norton.oxon.sch.uk/ Chipping Norton School (Secondary)]
* [http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/C/CH/CHIPPING_NORTON.htm Chipping Norton] —
1911 Encyclopædia Britannicaarticle.
* [http://www.chippingnortontheatre.co.uk The Theatre]
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