Chippenham Civic Society

Promoting Civic Pride in Chippenham

Chippenham Calf Sculpture

Chippenham was at one time the largest one day cattle market in England and many readers will recall the busy Friday market days with cattle truck from all over England and Wales descending on the town.

The market was located in the Market Place until 1910. It then moved to an area next to the Neeld Hall until 1954 when it moved to its final location in Cocklebury Road. It closed in 2005.

There is no public work of art that recognises this important part of the history of the town. We have been keen to rectify this.

We commissioned nationally recognised sculptor Richard Cowdy for some proposals. His work includes The Pigs in Calne, The Pyramid in Devizes, Bull’s Head for Colman’s Mustard Norwich and a sculpture at the London Stock Exchange.

 We wanted a sculpture that is:calf-in-the-studio

  • Readily accessible and meaningful to all ages
  • Educational and fun
  • Adds to the attractiveness of the town centre
  • Promotes an interest and pride in the town centre
  • Is of high quality, robust and maintenance free
  • Is value for money

We looked at various options and locations and decided that a life size calf was the best option. It is typical of the animals sold at the market. The bronze would be around 4 feet long and about 2 feet high so would be very child friendly.

It was decided not to put it on a plinth but to mount it directly to the ground. This would give the impression of a calf wandering along the pavement. A bronze plaque was designed to be set into the pavement in front of the calf.

We looked at various locations and decided on the entrance to Borough Parade as shown on the front page.

The Borough Parade is on the site of one of the former markets so is an historically accurate location. The owners of Borough Parade, Mountgrange LLP were very supportive and pledged £1500 towards the cost of the project.

Planning permission was granted and work continued at the studio of the sculptor, Richard Cowdy during the early part of 2013. It was finally installed in September 2013 and unveiled on the 14th of September by Amanda Parr from BBC Points West.

Chippenham Calf