"Chipping" means 'market', revealing the town's past importance as the main commercial centre for the Evenlode valley. The surrounding Cotswolds were one of the wealthiest parts of England in the Middle Ages, owing to their production of wool; Chipping Norton was one of the beneficiaries of this trade. Many of the medieval buildings built as a result remain in the town centre, adding to its unique character. Many buildings also date from the 18th century.
The town has been voted one of the UK's top ten Country Towns by the 200,000 readers of Period Living and Traditional Homes.