ABC of Chippenham: Zumba

Since March this year I've been attending a Zumba dance class at Hardenhuish school. This takes place in the gym which has the typical look and smell of any school gym built in the 1950s or 60s. Despite that, the class is a lot of fun - it's a bit like aerobics, with lots of moves from salsa/ Greek/ Bollywood/ belly dancing thrown in for good measure. I'm useless at it because it moves so fast, but I reckon that jumping around for an hour looking silly (and giggling a lot) has to be doing some good.

Whilst the school dates from the 1950s with various additions across the decades, the grounds are much older. They house the pictured rather stately Hardenhuish House and the grounds are the parkland of its former estate which still retain much of the feel of those grander times. The estate has been nibbled around the edges somewhat: part of it is now the Donkey Field which we encountered for the letter D and you've also seen the rather fine St Nicholas' Church in the letter C, which once served the estate but now lies outside the school grounds. I believe my allotment was also part of the estate and is bordered by one of its ancient hedgerows.

The house is lit up at night and if I peer very carefully through our bedroom window, I can just see it looking rather ghostly in the distance. It seems rather weird to be able to see such an old building (it dates from around 1773-4, though the Manor of Hardenhuish itself dates back to Domesday Book times at least) when we're surrounded by houses on a relatively newly built housing estate.

This is for ABC Wednesday and is the last of my themed posts about Chippenham. I've enjoyed putting these posts together and I hope you've enjoyed reading them. I'll make a summary list at some point to go into my Chippenham links in the right sidebar.


  1. Maybe SOMEDAY I'll try it. Or not.

    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  2. You've met the 'Z Challenge'! Congratulations.


  3. zumba rocking such stately classic architecture gives me a smile :)

  4. Did my first Zumba class on Monday. For some reason I thought there would be a certain elegance involved in keeping fit to dance moves seen on Strictly Come Dancing.

    I was wrong.

    I think it needed more heels and sequins.

  5. I'd like to know what you would have chosen for Z if you hadn't luckily been doing Zumba - or was that in the back of your mind when you started it?!

  6. ROG - go on, it's fun!

    Esther - thank you :)

    Petoskystone - we're a little way away from this building, but I'm glad tto have the perfect excuse to show it to you :)

    Dawn - I had exactly the same kind of idea when I started. Will heels and sequins be added to your attire for next time? It's been incredibly hot in the gym, not sure how much longer I can last...

    Lu - originally it was going to be the tale of the zebra crossing at the top of our road and how irritated NAH gets about it being in the wrong place. However, I'd also been wanting to feature Hardenhuish House in my ABC but had some very strong contenders for the letter H, so contriving its entry under Zumba was just perfect!

  7. Oh no - not the end!! Aren't there any Aardvarks in Chippenham you could start a AA with?

  8. Boo hoo, I am crying, as the A to Z of Chippenham comes to a close. But at least you leave us dancing! and picturing the possibility of a gym full of sequins.....
    ABC Wednesday Team

  9. We made it from A to Z. I enjoyed your read and Zumba dance class.

    Sounds fun.

  10. Loved your account of your class!
    used to do free dance and we were always in fits!
    Beaut architecture. Somehow better if it didn't have the bay side bits tho.
    But you are lucky to be able to see that lit up.

  11. Arabella Sock - I have plenty of things left over to talk about, but sadly not quite enough for another ABC at this time.

    helenmac and Wanda - so glad you enjoyed it - will join you again for another ABC sometime :)

    Robert - I believe those bays were some of the Victorian additions mentioned in the link I gave to the house history.

  12. Oh yes - it is popular here too - seems to be popular everywhere!!!!
    Must give it a go eh?
    Denise ABC Team

  13. I was wondering what the entry for Z was going to be. Good hook! Thanks for the A-Z of Chippenham, I've really enjoyed reading them and you've really brought Chippenham and it's history to life nicely.

  14. Mrs Nesbitt - I think you'd enjoy it!

    Gwenfar - thank you :) It's been a lot of fun to do


Your essential reads

Salad Days: Mastering Lettuce

Garden Bloggers' Blooms Day: 'Just Add Cream'

Please read if you follow this blog by email

Jack Go To Bed At Noon

Merry Christmas!

Happy New Year!

VP's VIPs: Charles Dowding

Seasonal Recipe: Nasturtium 'Capers'

Chelsea Fringe 2014: Shows of Hands - Episode I