Cricklade, Wiltshire Family History Guide

Cricklade comprises the parishes of:

Historical Descriptions

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

CRICKLADE, a town, two parishes, a sub-district, and a district in Wilts. The town stands on Ermine-street and the river Isis, adjacent to the North Wilts canal, near its junction with the Thames and Severn canal, about a mile from the boundary with Gloucester, 3½ miles N by E of Purton r. station, and 7¼ NNW of Swindon. It dates from very early times; was known to the Saxons as Crocgelad; and was plundered in 905 by Ethelwald, and in 1016 by Canute. It had a preceptory of the Knights Templars, a small ancient hospital, and a ten-pillared town hall of 1569; and it has now a head post office, two chief inns, two churches, two dissenting chapels, and charities £289. St. Sampson’s church is a cruciform structure, with a pinnacled tower; was built by the Earls of Warwick; and has an aisle belonging to the Radnors, armorial shields, and a curious clock. St. Mary’s church is partly Norman; consists of nave, north and south aisles, and chancel, with low ivy-clad tower: and has a sculptured cross in the churchyard. Markets are held on Saturdays; and fairs on 21 March, the second Thursday of April, 15 Aug., 21 Sept., 11 Oct., and 8 Dec. The town is a borough by prescription; and has sent two members to parliament since the time of Henry VI. Its borough limits were so vastly extended in 1782, for punishment and prevention of bribery, as to make it practically but the centre of a representative district, with Swindon and Brinkworth for other polling-places: and they were not altered by the Reform bill. They include all the parishes of Cricklade district; the parishes of Inglesham, Highworth, Castle-Eaton, Hannington, Stanton-Fitzwarren, Blunsdon-St. Andrew, Rodborne-Cheney, Stratton-St. Margaret, Wanborough, Liddington, Chisledon, Draycot-Foliatt, Swindon, and part of Wroughton, in Highworth district; the parishes of Oaksey, Crudwell, Hankerton, Brinkworth, Dauntsey, Norton-Coleparle, and part of Minety and Hullavington, in Malmsbury district; the parishes of Stanton-St. Quintin, Draycot-Cerne, Sutton-Benger, Seagry, and part of Kington-St. Michael in Chippenham district; the parishes of Kemble, Poole-Keynes, Somerford-Keynes, Shorncote, Poulton, and Marston-Maisey, in Cirencester district; the parishes of Long Newton and Ashby in Tetbury district; part of Hillmarton in Calne district; part of Broad-Hinton in Marlborough district; and part of Coleshill in Faringdon district. Direct taxes in 1857, £26,857. Electors in 1868, 2,094. Pop. of the p. borough, 36,893. Houses, 7,676.

The two parishes are C.-St. Sampson and C.-St. Mary; and the former includes the tythings of Whidhill and Chelworth. Acres of C.-St. S. 5,998; of C-St. M., 121. Real property of both, £13,775. Pop., 1,453 and 367. Houses, 326 and 91. The property is much subdivided. C-St. S. is a vicarage, and C-St. M., a rectory, in the diocese of Gloucester and Bristol. Value of the former, £365; of the latter, £83. Patrons of the former, the Dean and Chapter of Salisbury; of the latter, the Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol. The sub-district contains also the parishes of Purton, Eisey, Latton, and Ashton-Keynes. Acres, 21,337. Pop., 5,795. Houses, 1,287. The district comprehends also the sub-district of Wootton-Bassett, containing the parishes of Wootton-Bassett, Cliffe-Pypard, Lyneham, Tockenham, Liddiard-Tregooze, and Liddiard-Millicent. Acres, 41,566. Poor-rates, in 1862, £6,892. Pop. in 1841, 13,195; in 1861, 11,470. Houses, 2,501. Marriages in 1860, 75; births, 385, of which 40 were illegitimate; deaths, 207, of which 67 were at ages under 5 years, and 7 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 796; births, 3,713; deaths, 2,294. The places of worship in 1851 were 13 of the Church of England, with 4,322 sittings; 4 of Independents, with 674 s.; 2 of Baptists, with 224 s.; 8 of Primitive Methodists, with 875 s.; and 1 of Wesleyan Methodists, with 47 attendants. The schools were 15 public day schools, with 1,148 scholars; 15 private day schools, with 217 s.; 20 Sunday schools, with 1,445 s.: and 1 evening school for adults, with 12 s. The work-house is in Purton.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

A Topographical Dictionary of Great Britain and Ireland 1833

Cricklade, co. Wilts.

London 84 m. W b N. Salisbury 44 m. N b W. Pop. 1506. M.D. Sat. Fairs, 2d Thurs. in Ap. for sheep, cows, and calves; and Sept. 21, for pedlery and hiring servants. Memb. of Pt 2.

A market and borough town, in the hundred of Cricklade, comprising two parishes, situated at the junction of two small streams, the Churn and the Key, with the Thames. It is a place of considerable antiquity, but scarcely noticed by antiquaries, except on account of a fanciful derivation of the name from Greeklade, in connexion with an improbable story of the establishment of a college or school here, previously to the foundation of the university of Oxford, the origin of which is attributed to an emigration of the professors and students from Cricklade to that place. It is a borough by prescription, having sent members to Parliament ever since the twenty-third year of Edward I. The right of election was formerly vested in the freeholders and copy holders of the borough lands, and lease holders for any term not less than three years; but these electors having been convicted of bribery and corruption, on an inquiry before the House of Commons, after a contested election in 1780, they were deprived of their exclusive franchise, and the right of voting was extended to the free holders of the hundreds of Malmesbury, Highworth, Cricklade, Staple, and Kingsbridge, in conjunction with the former electors, in all about 1200; the bailiff chosen at the court-leet of the manor is the returning officer. The neighbouring magistrates hold a petty session on the first Saturday in every month; and a court of requests is held here every third Saturday. The living in both parishes are in the archdeaconry of Wilts and diocese of Salisbury, that of St. Sampson being a vicarage; valued in K.B. 18l. 11s. 10d.; patrons, the Dean and Chapter of Salisbury, alternately. The living of St. Mary is a dis. rectory; valued in K.B. 14l. 14s. 9d.; patrons, the Lord Chancellor and Bishop of Salisbury, alternately. The church of St. Sampson is a fine Gothic edifice, with a noble tower, the architecture of which has been much and deservedly admired; that dedicated to St. Mary, is a very ancient structure, retaining some traces of Norman architecture. In the churchyard is a stone cross, ornamented with sculptured figures in canopied niches. There are two dissenting chapels. A charity-school was founded here about the middle of the seventeenth century, by Robert Janner, citizen of London, and endowed with 40l. a-year; but the endowment has been lost, and the school consequently discontinued. The Thames and Severn canal pass near the north end of the town, and within a mile of it, forms a junction with the Wilts and Berks canal, affording a navigable communication with the metropolis and the intervening tract of country. The market, which was formerly much frequented by farmers and corn-dealers, is now inconsiderable.

Source: A Topographical Dictionary of Great Britain and Ireland by John Gorton. The Irish and Welsh articles by G. N. Wright; Vol. I; London; Chapman and Hall, 186, Strand; 1833.

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