Chipping Campden Morris Dancers
“The morris is life affirming, joyous and a bit daft. It honours our ancestors, our countryside and its traditions and against all the odds it survives in the present day…”
– Grandson of Morris On 2002
About Chipping Campden Morris Dancers
Chipping Campden is a small town in the North Cotswolds approximately 10 miles south of Stratford-upon-Avon and 25 miles north of Cheltenham. The town has a long history stretching back a thousand years and for most of this period, it was an important agricultural centre for the area and in particular the wool trade. During the 19th century Campden, like much of rural England, began to decline due to industrialisation but by the turn of the 20th century, the town had begun to revive itself again with the help of the Guild of Handicraft that arrived from London under the leadership of C.R. Ashbee. Today Campden is a thriving community in which agriculture continues to be important but where tourism has taken over as the main industry in the area.
The Chipping Campden Morris Dancers have long been a part of this community and the earliest records refer to a side existing in Campden in the 1700’s.
We are one of only four traditional Cotswold sides that exist today that have an unbroken history. The Campden side dances are a unique tradition that can be found nowhere else and the dances and steps form part of a living tradition which is passed on from one generation to the next. No other sides dance Campden and this is something which is respected throughout the morris community.
Today the Chipping Campden Morris Dancers continue to flourish. We dance throughout the spring and summer months and the main events of our year are the Dover’s games and Scuttlebrook Wake which take place on the first weekend in June. The side today includes a number of generations from the same families and is very much alive and well in the 21st century.
For an outline history of Chipping Campden Morris Dancers by Keith Chandler please click here.