Chalford is a village in the Frome Valley of the Cotswolds in Gloucestershire, England. It is about 8 km upstream (4 miles east) of Stroud. It gives its name to Chalford parish, which covers the villages of Chalford, Chalford Hill, France Lynch, Bussage and Brownshill, spread over 2 mi² (5 km²) of the Cotswold countryside. At this point the valley is also called the Golden Valley.
The remains, and known sites, of many barrows indicate that the plateau area of Chalford Hill, France Lynch and Bussage has been an area of continuous settlement for probably at least 4,000 years. Stone Age flints have been found in the area as well as the remains of a Roman Villa. Several of the place names in the area are also Saxon or Danish in origin.
The name Chalford may be derived from Calf (Way) Ford, or possibly from the Saxon cealj or Chalk and the Norman Ford: both possibilities have the same meaning. There were two ancient crossings at Chalford apart from the ford from which the village was named: Stoneford, recorded from the later 12th century, was the crossing-point of a track up Cowcombe hill on the line of the later Cirencester turnpike and by 1413 another track crossed into Minchinhampton by Stephen's bridge at Valley Corner.
The settling of displaced Flemish Huguenot weavers in the 17th and 18th centuries brought quality silk and woollen cloth manufacturing to the valley. It is thought that they gave their name to the neighbouring village of France Lynch. At this point the Golden Valley is narrow and deep so many weavers' cottages were built clinging to the sides of the hills, giving the village an Alpine air. It is sometimes still referred to as the 'Alpine village'. As the paths on the hillsides were too narrow for more conventional forms of transport donkeys were used to carry groceries and other goods to houses, this tradition continuing until as recently as the 1950s. Chalford expanded rapidly with the opening of the Thames and Severn Canal in 1789 and the village became one of the centres for the manufacture of broadcloth. Its wealthy clothiers lived close to their mills and built many fine houses which survive to this day.