The Charms of Chalford

With its winding streets and beautiful Cotswold stone houses dotted along the hills and wooded valleys, it’s easy to see why this village is such a popular place to live.

Chalford (which incorporates Chalford, Chalford Vale and Chalford Hill) is nestled between Stroud and Cirencester, situated in and above the Golden Valley with the River Frome running below.

The village is steeped in a rich history, with discoveries of ancient settlements and Roman remains as well as links to the industrial revolution and the manufacture of woollen cloth. Some of the village’s stone cottages and elegant Cotswold houses date back to the 18th and early 19th century and were occupied by wealthy clothiers and weavers who worked in the mills. When the Thames and Severn Canal opened in 1789, Chalford rapidly expanded and became a centre for the manufacture of cloth.

A mill now functioning as offices and workspaces, Chalford

A mill now functioning as offices and workspaces, Chalford

Due to its steep and narrow paths, donkeys were used to transport everyday items like bread and coal to villagers’ houses right up until the 1930s.

Today, Chalford is a hive of activity with prosperous local businesses, a primary school, sports clubs, a shop, pub, tea rooms, and many community clubs and events that run throughout the year. Thomas Keble School, a mixed secondary school, is close by in the next village and many children walk there.

The popular Chalford Village Shop is a co-operative run by volunteers and sells everything from fresh bread and organic products to locally made art and craft items. During the lockdowns they delivered supplies to those in need.

The village boasts two fantastic tea rooms to relax in, both offering delicious home-made cakes and bakes and beverages. The Lavender Bakehouse & Coffee Shop serves breakfast, brunch, lunch and afternoon tea as well as tea, coffee and cake and the Scrumptious Coffee Shop sells fresh, tasty treats including cakes, bread, doughnuts and local produce. Both are popular with local residents and visitors alike – not to mention dog walkers who’ve worked up an appetite walking the picturesque old canal path.

Along the canal path, Chalford

Along the canal path, Chalford

Stroud Farm Services has been in Chalford for more than 40 years providing local communities with agricultural supplies, pet feed and clothing. They stock a range of feed, bedding, hardware, timber and pet products, along with equestrian and country clothing with a delivery service for account customers.

Starting off with a small flock of 15 pedigree Wiltshire Horn ewes, the wonderfully-named Meat the Flockers (the brainchild of five families) is a local family-run small holding that produces grass-fed outdoor reared meat using traditional and sustainable methods.

Chalford is a village with a fascinating history, and its strong community spirit will ensure it continues to thrive for future generations.