Chippenham Borough Lands Charity has a broad and rich history dating back to the rule of Queen Mary in the sixteenth century. As the Charity has adapted and evolved throughout the years, we have maintained a high level of care for the area of Chippenham and ensured that generations both present and in the future, are given the opportunities to grow and succeed.
Our Charity was first established after Queen Mary granted a Royal Charter to Chippenham in 1554. She gave Crown Land to the Borough and the income was split between paying for two local Members of Parliament and the upkeep of the bridge over the River Avon.
As a result of the Local Government Review in 1835, Chippenham became a Borough and the current Bailiff and Burgesses were replaced by a Mayor, Alderman and Burgesses. The newly formed Borough Council assumed all properties, debts and assets from the Bailiff and Burgesses, including the Borough lands.
As a result of the 1974 Local Government Act, the North Wiltshire District Council (NWDC) was founded. This assumed all properties, debts and assets from the current Borough Council. Shortly after, a proposed road scheme led to the careful study of the charters and deeds relating to the Borough Lands.
After much studying and advice, it was confirmed that the Borough Lands was, in fact, a charitable trust and not property of the NWDC.
Further investigation found that the NWDC had unlawfully acquired the lands and so financial reparation had to be given to compensate for the loss.
On 18th April 1990, the Charity Commission granted a scheme called The Charities (Borough Lands Charity) Chippenham Order and the new Trustees took office. This led to the deeds, documents and assets being formally handed over to the Trustees in October 1990. As a result, the Charity had a large amount of money, some of which was Capital (could not be invested) and some Income (available to spend).
The Charity Commission required a large sum to be spent quickly, leading to the decision of giving money back to the community by:
- Funding Community Centers in Pewsham and Kingsley Road.
- Funding the building of three hospices and a hospital.
Please click the link below for access to our Annual Reports.
Donations and Legacies
Chippenham Borough Lands Charity welcomes Donations and Legacies, if you wish to discuss the best way to go about donating please contact us.