The poor old Old Sodbury tunnel flooded this week after the recent storm.
Our friends over at Wikipedia calculate that the tunnel has the propensity to flood about 24 times a year.
Yet, news reports always seem to place the tunnel a couple of miles down the road here in Chipping Sodbury.
So, we’ve taken the question we posed a couple of years ago and updated the post into a comprehensive but far from exhaustive account of all the good reasons, we say jolly good reasons, to buy a house in Chipping Sodbury.
After all, before moving to a new area people like to know what they’re getting into and what is has to offer.
History of Chipping Sodbury
Let’s start in well-worn tradition a long, long time ago with, let’s call them, the Three Sodbury’s Chipping, Old and Little.
The word “Chipping” means market, like those others you know about in Norton, Campden and Ongar.
There wasn’t a church in town originally so residents had to walk the two miles (adjacent to the London to Wales railway line as it happens) to Old Sodbury to attend a service.
Chipping Sodbury is not twinned with Sodding Chipbury - in fact, there’s no such place! It is also wrong to call younger inhabitants “Little Sods”. Chipping Sodbury is twinned with Cesson in France.
The following facts range from the quite interesting to the decidedly dull, but we’ll let you be the judge.
1. Chipping Sodbury is a medieval town, and has one of the widest streets in England with around 120 listed properties.
2. Like Thornbury, Chipping Sodbury is blooming marvellous as it's a Britain In Bloom Gold Award Winning Town.
3. Where is it to? (sic) It’s approximately 11 miles North East of Bristol and 14 miles North West of Bath on the edge of the Cotswolds area of outstanding natural beauty (although my wife still insists we’re not “proper” Cotswolds).
Junction 18 of the M4 motorway is about 4 miles away and Junction 14 of the M5 is about 7 miles away.
Bristol Parkway Station is about 8 miles away with frequent services to London. A local service to Bristol and Gloucester is available from Yate Station a couple of miles away.
The planned electrification of the route from London to Bristol although delayed and over budget should be completed by 2018. The benefits of electrification include more seats, faster journeys (reducing the Bristol to London time by 22 minutes to just over an hour), improved reliability (Old Sodbury Tunnel notwithstanding) and less of an environmental impact.
4. A new Waitrose store opened in October 2013. And good news for Chipping Sodbury residents, you may benefit from the so say “Waitrose Effect”. It has been calculated that such a phenomenon could add £38,666 to your house price.
McCarthy and Stone next door have built an assisted living development for the 70+ called Barnhill Court. Bloor Homes have built a 3 and 4-bedroom development behind Waitrose called Barnhill Gate.
As part of this development, access to Waitrose from the High Street has become transformed into “Hatherell’s Yard”, a walkway which consists of numerous shops and stalls - Cadeaux & Co, and The Sodbury Florist to name a few.
Every Friday and Saturday from 9am-4pm there is a market in Hatherell’s Yard offering the best of fresh local produce and
artisan. With everything from Jewellery, Chutneys and Preserves to Pet Supplies!
5. Should you hear the sound of a hoover, sorry dual cyclone cleaner, it could be Sir James Dyson. He lives in the nearby village of Doddington and you’ll neeed exceptional hearing as the house stands in about 300 acres. Plus, national treasure, J.K. Rowling, was born in the now defunct Chipping Sodbury Maternity Hospital. Former international cricketer Jack Russell is also from Chipping Sodbury.
If you want to find out more about J.K. Rowling and the Cotswolds then follow this link to our new property and lifestyle magazine, The Hoot, to find out more.
6. There are a number of cafés/eateries in the town; The Hamptons Deli, Coffee #1, Cluso’s Café, The Coffee Bean, and many more - you could do a cake and coffee crawl!
The butcher’s Artingstalls will happily sell you their award-winning sausages - Italian-style herb sausages prepared using quality pork – no less. Rumour has it at the other butcher across the road, Jon Howell, you can have marmite in your sausages!
7. Talking of delightful baked goods - Chipping Sodbury is home to the Fabulous Baker Brothers – owners of the award-winning Hobbs House Bakery!
Channel 4 (allegedly) refused to use the name Chipping Sodbury in their bakery series on the grounds that no one would take anyone from Chipping Sodbury seriously. I mean, honestly!
Left to right: Jon and Lorraine of Jon Howell Family Butchers; Kim of Artingstalls Butchers proudly holding their award-winning sausages.
8. Chipping Sodbury has its own Mop Fair, not once, but twice a year! It’s most popular event however, is its Victorian themed evening which takes place in early December. It also hosts yearly food and jazz festivals, as well as theatre performances in its town hall.
9. Chipping Sodbury is now part of the national Park Run movement.
Every Saturday from 9am, the 5km run takes place in The Ridings fields.
Other sporting events include the Sodbury Sportive, which takes place in the summer each year. In 2015 it managed to raise over £20,000 for charity.
10. How many pubs are there on Chipping Sodbury Hight Street?
Until a couple of years ago that was a great quiz question. As you see what people regard as the whole of the High Street includes Broad Street, Horse Street and Rounceval Street, and there were no pubs actually on the High Street but a generous 7 pubs – a pub roughly every 100m on Broad and Horse Street.
There is just 1 (newish) pub now on the High Street – the Horseshoe.
...And there you have it - 10 Jolly Good Reasons for Buying a Home in Chipping Sodbury. And now here's a bit of information around solicitors and estate agents, which you may find useful:
As well as Clutton Cox (us) - there is no longer a Mr. Clutton (circa 1820s), a Mr. Cox - who specialise in Conveyancing, there are 2 other solicitor’s firms in Chipping Sodbury including, Bevan Evemy, who specialise in family and employment law and Simpson Solicitors who specialise in Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney amd Probate.
There are five Estate Agencies in Chipping Sodbury, with David James & Partners a firm of Rural Surveyors and Estate Agents based in Old Sodbury (not far from the tunnel actually).
Three of the Estate Agencies in Chipping Sodbury are owner run, one is part of a franchise and one is corporately owned.
Milburys that also has offices in Thornbury and Wotton under Edge are owner run, as is Country Property Agents.
Besley Hill is a franchise owned by the same person who owns DEAssessments, the Energy Assessors who supply Energy Performance Certificates, which are required when you put your home on the market for sale.
The corporate agency is Allen and Harris, which is part of the Sequence group of Estate agents – Company Policy is to refer you to a non local firm of Conveyancing Solicitors (boo, hiss) unless you specifically ask for a local firm of Conveyancing Solicitors (hint, hint)
As always consider the options, personal recommendations, check websites and obtain a few quotations for every service you require.
So, there you are – as long as you do not suffer with tunnel vision there really is no reason why you would not want buy a house and live in Chipping Sodbury.
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