Cricklade – First Town of the Thames

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The historic town of Cricklade in North Wiltshire makes for a charming and enjoyable visit. While house sitting in nearby Swindon, we packed a picnic lunch and went for a history lesson in this quintessential English town. Founded in the 9th Century by the Anglo-Saxons, Cricklade was strategically located where the Roman road Ermin Way crosses the Thames.

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St. Sampson is the Church of England parish church and was built between 1240 and 1280 on the site of a 9th Century Saxon church. The majestic 4-pinnacled tower was built in 1551 – 1553 by John Dudley the 1st Duke of Northumberland.

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St. Sampson stained glass window

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Jenner Hall was built in 1652 and was one of the first free schools in England. It borders St. Sampson church yard and serves as a community center today.

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Views across the rooftops reflect several centuries of history.

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High Street boasts many fine Georgian homes as well as a mixture of cafes, shops and services.

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There are fewer  of the iconic red telephone boxes in operation these days

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The Red Lion Inn is a traditional English pub dating from the early 1600s.

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The pride of the residents can be seen in the appearance of their homes along High Street and adjoining alleys.

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St. Mary’s Catholic Church dates from the 12th Century and was built just inside the Saxon walls. Cricklade was one of several burhs (fortified towns) built by King Alfred in 878 – 879 as protection against the Vikings.

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As you reach the north end of High Street you cross the River Thames which at this point is near its headwaters. There is a lovely foot path along the Thames and through a National Nature Reserve.

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We spent about three hours wandering along High Street and the narrow lanes that led off it and could easily have spent the entire day. The pubs and restaurants looked inviting.

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There are hundreds of fascinating historical towns and villages throughout England. This one was close however and we particularly enjoyed the feeling we got from a few short hours in Cricklade and wanted to share some of its charms.

 

 

 

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About timannehall

We sold almost all of our belongings and left our home in Nova Scotia in April 2016 to experience as much of the world as we can. We spent over a year slow traveling in Latin America and Europe. For the next stage of our journey we are going to based in Portugal and traveling from there.
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6 Responses to Cricklade – First Town of the Thames

  1. Jen Hall says:

    Good day guys! Wonderful pictures of Cricklade…love the churches and alleyways!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Looks like the weather is a bit cooler than you’d expect for summer but what a beautiful place to walk around and explore. Such a sense of time and the ages and I loved the little sign, “On this spot nothing happened” as the whole town sounds like a place where events unfolded and history really did happen. Sounds like your housesit is going well – isn’t it fun to have the time to settle in a bit and experience a new area like a “local?” Anita

    Liked by 1 person

    • timannehall says:

      Hi Anita. It has been really nice to blend into the neighbourhood although everyone tells us our accent stands out. We thought that the sign was really cute. Perhaps it is a normal one here, but we loved it nonetheless. t has been quite cool, down to 5 degrees overnight so we are looking forward to the warmth again.

      Like

  3. kemkem says:

    It does indeed look like a charming place. I love the picture of you next to the phone booth. I can only imagine blending in up to a point, I’m sure your accents made you stand out :-). Love the images, very mood evoking.

    Liked by 1 person

    • timannehall says:

      Thanks Kemkem. It was quite amusing for us everywhere we went as people would comment right away on our accent. And of course in our heads we’re thinking the same thing of their accents.

      Like

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