The Saxons

The earliest documentary evidence of Chippenham is in the 9th century, when the Anglo Saxon Chronicle records the town as Cippanhamme and this could be derived from the personal name of Cippa or meaning a trading or market place.

In 853 Ethelwitha, the sister of King Alfred, was married in the church in Chippenham, which had become a Royal ville. There would probably have been a large hall, accommodation, a church and stables similar to excavated remains found at Cheddar in Somerset. In 878 the Danish army under King Guthrum occupied the Royal ville, which may have had some form of fortification.

The town in later land charters is referred to as a Villa Regia and remained under the Crown.