Chipping Sodbury

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Chipping Sodbury is a market town in the county of South Gloucestershire, south-west England, founded in the 12th century by William Crassus (or le Gros). The villages of Old Sodbury and Little Sodbury are nearby. At the 2001 census the population of Chipping Sodbury was 5,066, but in the last decade the town has become part of a much larger built-up area due to the rapid expansion of nearby Yate. At the census the combined population of Yate and Chipping Sodbury was 26,855.  The town’s name is recorded in Old English (in the dative case) as Soppanbyrig = “Soppa’s fort”. “Chipping” (from Old English cēping) means that a market was held there.

East of the town is the Chipping Sodbury Tunnel a railway tunnel under the Cotswolds, 2 miles 924 yards (4.06 km) long, which was opened by the Great Western Railway in 1902. The Chipping Sodbury tunnel is notorious for flooding in wet weather, often leading to disruption of services on the main railway line to and from South Wales. Chipping Sodbury had a railway station from 1903 to 1961. Yate station, on the Bristol to Birmingham main line, originally closed in January 1965 but reopened in May 1989.

Chipping Sodbury hosts a twice yearly Mop Fair, usually the last weekends of March and September. The town also holds a Festival Week in early June. There is a farmers’ market twice a month, on the second & fourth Saturdays.

A Victorian Evening is held on the first Friday in December. The event starts in the afternoon when school choirs perform in the street. The evenings events begin with the arrival of Father Christmas when snow is guaranteed. The streets are lined with stalls from local charities and organisations and old time amusements, including a Ferris wheel, Helter Skelter and two children’s rides. Choirs sing, bands play, and stalls bring a market feel.

Note: this page is partly based on a Wikipedia page. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. Where possible, text is being updated to original, fully referenced research. ‘Our photos’ means we took the photographs. The Street View and street map visuals are courtesy of Google.

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