Jump to content

Chipping Sodbury

Coordinates: 51°32′17″N 2°23′38″W / 51.538°N 2.394°W / 51.538; -2.394
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Chipping Sodbury
The wide main street of Chipping Sodbury. Cars are parked where market stalls would once have been.
Chipping Sodbury is located in Gloucestershire
Chipping Sodbury
Chipping Sodbury
Location within Gloucestershire
Population5,500 (2021 Census)[1]
OS grid referenceST726822
Civil parish
  • Sodbury
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townBRISTOL
Postcode districtBS37
Dialling code01454
PoliceAvon and Somerset
AmbulanceSouth Western
UK Parliament
List of places
51°32′17″N 2°23′38″W / 51.538°N 2.394°W / 51.538; -2.394

Chipping Sodbury is a market town and civil parish in the unitary authority area of South Gloucestershire, in the county of Gloucestershire, England. It is situated 13 miles (21 km) north-east of Bristol and directly east of Yate. The town was founded in the 12th century by William le Gros. It is the main settlement in the civil parish of Sodbury, which also includes the village of Old Sodbury.

At the 2011 census the population of Chipping Sodbury was 5,045, but the town has since become part of a larger built-up area due to the rapid expansion of nearby neighbouring town, Yate. The two towns are both contiguous with one and other.


An electoral ward in the same name (not Sodbury) exists. This ward starts in the north at Chipping Sodbury Golf Course and stretches south to Dodington. The total population of the ward taken at the 2011 census was 6,834.[2] In 1931 the parish had a population of 973.[3] On 1 April 1946 the parish was abolished to form Sodbury.[4]


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 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 station from 1903 to 1961.[5] Yate station, on the Bristol to Birmingham main line, closed in January 1965 but reopened in May 1989.

The WESTlink on-demand bus serves the town.

Cultural activities[edit]

Chipping Sodbury Town Hall

Chipping Sodbury hosts a twice yearly Mop Fair, usually the last weekends of March and September.[6] The town holds a Festival Week in early June, including a "Big Lunch" where the main road is closed and residents bring picnics to eat on the street.[7] A Big Lunch is also held in December to combat loneliness amongst elderly people at Christmas. There is a farmers' market twice a month, on the second and fourth Saturdays.

A Victorian Day is held on the first Saturday in December.[8] The event starts with school choirs performing in the street, followed by the arrival of Father Christmas with snow guaranteed (from a blower). 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, the stalls bring a market feel, and a Hog Roast is held.

The town celebrated its 800th anniversary in August 2018 with a weekend of medieval activities including another Big Lunch. A time capsule was buried containing photographs of local businesses and poems written by local schoolchildren. The capsule is to be dug up on the town's 900th anniversary in August 2118.

The town is served by a community radio station, GLOSS FM, which broadcasts 365 days a year on its webcasts and twice a year on 87.7 MHz FM. Chipping Sodbury Town Hall, which was remodelled in 1858, is a significant events venue in the town.[9]


Chipping Sodbury has two government funded primary schools and a secondary school.

Chipping Sodbury School, the secondary school, caters for children aged 11 to 18 and describes itself as a 'Specialist Technology School'.[10] The School shares a sixth form, named Cotswold Edge, with both Brimsham Green School and Yate International Academy. Subjects taken by students are split between the three locations. The School obtained a 'Requires Improvement' status from Ofsted in 2018.[11]

St John's Mead Primary School is named after the parish church, St. John's Chipping Sodbury. The other primary school is Raysfield Infants and Junior schools. Also within the parish boundary is Old Sodbury Primary School.

Dodington Parish Hall, which is situated next to Raysfield Junior and Infant Schools, is also the home of Raysfield Preschool.


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.[12]

The main street of Chipping Sodbury (2017)

Notable people[edit]

Edward Jenner, pioneer of vaccination in the 18th century, started his medical training in Sodbury, observing people catching cowpox and then not catching smallpox.[13]

RC "Jack" Russell: former England cricket wicketkeeper and artist owns an art gallery in the town.[14]

Sir James Dyson, inventor of the Dual Cyclone bagless vacuum cleaner, lives at Dodington Park just outside Chipping Sodbury.[15]

J. K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter fantasy series, was born in 1965 at the Chipping Sodbury Maternity Hospital (later the Chipping Sodbury Memorial Day Centre), on Station Road, Yate. Until the age of four, she lived with her parents in Sundridge Park, Yate.[16][17][18]


  1. ^ "SODBURY". City population. Retrieved 25 October 2022.
  2. ^ "Ward population 2011". Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
  3. ^ "Population statistics Chipping Sodbury AP/CP through time". A Vision of Britain through Time. Retrieved 8 December 2022.
  4. ^ "Relationships and changes Chipping Sodbury AP/CP through time". A Vision of Britain through Time. Retrieved 8 December 2022.
  5. ^ Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations. Yeovil: Patrick Stephens Ltd. p. 60. ISBN 1-85260-508-1. R508.
  6. ^ "Mop Fair". Sodbury Town Council. Archived from the original on 26 March 2011. Retrieved 24 August 2020.
  7. ^ "Chipping Sodbury Festival". Chipping Sodbury Festival. Archived from the original on 4 February 2019. Retrieved 24 August 2020.
  8. ^ "Chipping Sodbury Victorian Day". My Sodbury. Archived from the original on 14 May 2017. Retrieved 24 August 2020.
  9. ^ Historic England. "Town Hall (1129244)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 21 January 2022.
  10. ^ "Chipping Sodbury School – Home Page". chippingsodburyschool.com. Archived from the original on 15 January 2018. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  11. ^ "Chipping Sodbury School – Ofsted Inspection Report 2018". Ofsted. Archived from the original on 13 September 2018. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  12. ^ Ekwall, Eilert (1960). The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place Names. Oxford University Press. p. 105. ISBN 978-0-19-869103-7.
  13. ^ Womack, Alexandra (21 May 2013). "Edward Jenner's home recognised in new Chipping Sodbury heritage trail launched by Mark Horton". Gazette. Archived from the original on 24 August 2020. Retrieved 24 August 2020.
  14. ^ http://www.jackrussell.co.uk/ Archived 19 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved September 2013
  15. ^ Hellen, Nicholas; Boswell, Josh (28 December 2014). "Dyson bags a bigger estate than the Queen". The Sunday Times. ISSN 0956-1382. Archived from the original on 29 October 2019. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  16. ^ Connie Ann Kirk, J.K. Rowling: A Biography, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2003, pp.11–12
  17. ^ C. D. Miller, Harry Potter Places: Snitch-Seeking in Southern England and Wales, Book 3, First Edition Design Pub., 2012, pp.110–113
  18. ^ Lynne Hutchinson, Concerns raised about future of former Chipping Sodbury cottage hospital site, Gazette Series, 6 September 2012 Archived 4 April 2014 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 6 April 2013
  • David Verey, Gloucestershire: the Vale and the Forest of Dean, The Buildings of England edited by Nikolaus Pevsner, 2nd ed. (1976) ISBN 0-14-071041-8, pp. 155–157

External links[edit]