Weekend Wandering: Chippenham's Public Art

Chippenham's Town Bridge
The Town Bridge's design echoes the 22 arches of the bridge it replaced... but is it art?

The past few months I've been wandering all over Chippenham looking for its public art. According to Wikipedia there are just 7 pieces for me to photograph. I currently have 49 items on my spreadsheet and the war memorial on Wikipedia's list is excluded from the scope of my survey.

It's a heartening quest as I thought there'd be just 15-20 items for me to discover, though as the sole Chippenham volunteer on Creative Wiltshire's project, progress is slower than I'd like. I'm also questioning exactly what counts as art; it's quite broad in the project's scope, so I've included transient items such as festivals, art exhibitions, graffiti and yarnbombing.

Selection of Chippenham's public art

The ownership section is proving quite tricky. Who exactly owns a piece created via a community project? In some instances the Town Council maintains these pieces on the community's behalf but doesn't claim ownership. Other pieces were commissioned by North Wiltshire District Council, which has long gone and it seems ownership fell through the cracks during the reallocation of responsibilities. I hope Mel at Chippenham Museum can help with some of the blanks and question marks on my spreadsheet.

It's an enjoyable project, especially as I've visited some quite new to me parts of Chippenham; not bad seeing I've lived here for nearly 34 years, and it's a medium sized town. Wish me luck in the closing stages of my quest - I've just spotted another potential piece in the background of one of my photos!

More of Chippenham's public art


  1. I like the bridge! Love the shadows it casts
    When you consider that the bridge could have been just a plain stretch of metal, yes this pretty bridge is a piece of art!
    Have a wonderful week-end!

    1. That's my thinking too Lea. There's another bridge in town which is decorated with plant shapes like those seen in the river it crosses. That's on my list too.

  2. Really glad you are enjoying the project Michelle. The images look great and we are looking forward to adding them to our Historic Photograph and Print Collection here at the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre and posting them onto the Know Your Place website as part of Creative Wiltshire. You're doing a grand job; much appreciated!

    1. Thanks Julie, I'll send you the photos soon!


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