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Guild of Handicraft

Background to the Guild of Handicraft

Chipping Campden has important links with the Arts and Crafts movement. In 1902, C.R. Ashbee set up his Guild of Handicrafts workshop in the old silk mill in Sheep Street.It now contains the last family business from those days -Harts Silversmith’s, where you can see them working in the original surroundings. It also has The Campden Coffee Co., The Gallery at the Guild, and Caroline Richardson – a Jeweller.

Early in the 20th Century, Chipping Campden became known as a centre for the Cotswold Arts and Crafts movement, following the move of Charles Robert Ashbee with the members of his Guild and School of Handicraft from the East End of London in 1902. The Guild of Handicraft specialised in metalworking, producing jewellery and enamels, as well as hand-wrought copper and wrought ironwork, and furniture. A number of artists and writers settled in the area, including F.L. Griggs, the etcher, who built Dover’s House, one of the last significant Arts and Crafts houses, and set up the Campden Trust with Norman Jewson and others, initially to protect Dover’s Hill from development. H. J. Massingham, the rural writer who celebrated the traditions of the English countryside, also settled near the town.

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