A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 18. Originally published by Boydell & Brewer for Victoria County History, Woodbridge, 2011.
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THIS article describes the Anglo-Saxon origins of the town of Cricklade, its subsequent development as a trading centre and Parliamentary borough, and its later history, including topography and built environment, civil and religious institutions, and government.
GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT
THE ANGLO-SAXON BURH
Standing as it did at the border between Wessex and Mercia, and at a strategic river-crossing, the establishment of Cricklade as a fortified town may have been a key element in Alfred's plan to defend his kingdom from any further Danish invasion from Mercia, immediately following his victory at Edington in 878. (fn. 1) Cricklade may be counted among the new settlements referred to c. 893 by Alfred's biographer. (fn. 2) It is one of the network of strongholds thrown across Wessex c. 880 and listed in the Burghal Hidage, a document of c. 919 or earlier. (fn. 3)
The town plan is rectilinear, and similar to those at Wallingford (Berks. later Oxon.) and Wareham (Dorset). It is laid out inside its defences within an almost square intra-mural walkway, apparently based (like other planned Anglo-Saxon towns) on multiples of a standard 4-pole (66 ft.) measure. (fn. 4) The town is bisected by a straight north–south street, and long, narrow plots running east–west from it were held by burghal tenure. (fn. 5) Calcutt Street, running westward from an east gate, bisects the eastern half into two equal quadrants, which are further divided by a grid of streets. The western half is crossed eccentrically by Bath Road, presumably reflecting a pre-existing routeway serving the settlement at Chelworth, and perhaps influenced by the position of a precursor on the site of St Sampson's church. (fn. 6)
It is likely that Cricklade's defences were begun c. 878–80. (fn. 7) Dump material from three shallow external ditches was thrown up to create a clay bank, c. 10 m. wide and c. 3 m. high, revetted with turf and probably surmounted by a wooden palisade and simple wooden corner turrets. A stone-paved intra-mural walkway was constructed at the same time. The fortifications enclosed a rough square with sides c. 180 m. long and containing c. 28 ha. Access to the town was through east and west gates on the Malmesbury road, and the east gate, which linked the town to Ermin Street, was probably the more important. Gates were also built at the north and south ends of the street. (fn. 8)
Early in the 10th century the defences were heightened and strengthened, a stone wall replaced the turf revetment, and a wall walk was constructed. This construction phase may have anticipated, or been a response to, a Danish raiding party which crossed the Thames, c. 902, and pillaged in and around Braydon forest, although it is not said to have attacked Cricklade. (fn. 9) In the Burghal Hidage document, Cricklade's fortifications were said to need 1,500 hides, implying a length of 2,063 yd.: their measured length is close to that. (fn. 10) It is likely that the wall then incorporated stone gatehouses. (fn. 11) The suggestion that a north gatehouse stood a little west of the street on what became the site of the north chapel of St Mary's church (fn. 12) has been dismissed because it would have obstructed the walk along the rampart. (fn. 13)
Following a period of neglect, the defences were refurbished, but then disabled by the destruction of the stone revetment and the filling with stones of the inner ditches. This episode may be ascribed to the second war with the Danes in the early 11th century, (fn. 14) when Cnut and his army crossed the Thames at Cricklade. (fn. 15) The dismantling of defences, at Cricklade and elsewhere, may then be seen as the victorious Cnut safeguarding his position. A further period of neglect was followed by a second reconstruction of the defences, involving the reexcavation of existing ditches and the creation of others, and a new wooden palisade. Documentary evidence suggests that this took place during the anarchy of the early 12th century. William of Dover was said to have constructed a castellum at Cricklade in 1144, which saw service in 1145 and 1147. (fn. 16) Thereafter further neglect was followed by an undated refurbishment and then a long period when the clay bank was allowed to spread and become lower. (fn. 17) It was plainly visible in the 18th and 19th centuries (fn. 18) and was excavated at several times and in several places between 1948 and 1998. (fn. 19) In the later 20th century the west part of the south bank was built over.
It has been suggested that, in the early 10th century, the revenues of an estate later called Abingdon Court manor were assigned to the maintenance of the north gateway and the northern line of the fortifications. (fn. 20) Although it is likely that this was one of the early assarts at Chelworth, and that it existed before Cricklade was built, (fn. 21) the suggestion seems fanciful. It has also been suggested that St Mary's church was built, rebuilt, or rededicated by the abbey of Abingdon (Berks., later Oxon.) in the early 11th century and that the abbey's estate was assigned to the church as its parish, based on the assumption that a small estate (haga or praediolum) in Cricklade granted by King Æthelred to the abbey in 1008 was the estate which became Abingdon Court manor. (fn. 22) The assumption seems groundless: the haga is more likely to have been a tenement in the town than an estate of land, (fn. 23) there is no evidence that Abingdon abbey held land or a tenement at Cricklade after 1008, (fn. 24) and Abingdon Court manor probably took its name from members of the Abingdon family who acquired it in the 13th century. (fn. 25)
Cricklade was a flourishing town in the 10th and 11th centuries. From the reign of King Æthelstan (925–39) it was important enough for coinage to be minted there: nine or more moneyers minted coins in the reign of Ethelred (970–1016), 10 or more in that of Cnut (1016–35), and minting continued until the reign of William II (1087–1100). (fn. 26)
A church was built by c. 980 and St Sampson's church was built or rebuilt on its present site west of High Street and south-west of the Malmesbury road in the late 10th or 11th centuries. (fn. 27) A lane running east from High Street to Abingdon Court manor and two lanes running north from the Malmesbury road came to form a small grid-pattern, although when is unclear. It has been argued that this is the only surviving part of a larger grid set out on both sides of High Street when the town was founded, but there is little evidence to support this theory. (fn. 28) Rather, it seems that the north–south lane nearer to High Street developed as a back lane, and the other two lanes were the main approaches to Abingdon Court manor. In 1086 the lords in demesne of 33 burgages are known, and there were many other burgages; it is highly likely that all of these stood along High Street between the fortifications. (fn. 29)
Because Calcutt Street and Bath Road are not aligned with each other where they cross High Street it has been suggested that the south side of Calcutt Street lay open to a rectangular market place which was later filled in with a cluster of small building plots. (fn. 30) A 14th-century stone market cross, (fn. 31) called the High Cross in the 15th century, (fn. 32) stood there until it was removed to St Sampson's churchyard c. 1817–20. (fn. 33) Records show that the market was held in High Street by the 17th century, (fn. 34) although the buildings which stand in neat rows on its probable site have more in common with normal street development than with casual market infill.
From 1139 Wiltshire was the scene of conflict between forces of the Empress Maud and of King Stephen, (fn. 35) and a chronicler recorded that in 1144 William of Dover, a supporter of Maud, went to Cricklade, 'which is situated in a delightful spot abounding in resources of every kind, and with the greatest zeal built a castle which was inaccessible because of the barrier of water and marsh on every side'. (fn. 36) Some ambiguity has led to the suggestion that it actually stood at Castle Eaton, (fn. 37) but the castle of Cricklade is referred to explicitly in an entry for 1145. (fn. 38) Especially if inaccessum meant difficult to enter rather than difficult to reach, it is almost certain that William either built or strengthened the stone walls around the town to provide defences prominent enough to be called a castle. William was castellan until 1145, when Maud replaced him with Philip, the son of Robert, earl of Gloucester. Philip deserted Maud and by 1147 Cricklade had passed into Stephen's hands; in that year Henry of Anjou was repulsed in his attempt to take it from the king's supporters. (fn. 39)
If William of Dover's castle was at Cricklade, the description of it as having water and marsh on every side would have been exaggerated, but it does imply that by the earlier 12th century the Thames had been diverted from the course followed by the parish boundary to that near the north end of the town. The diversion may have been to drive the mills which are known to have stood on it, (fn. 40) to give to the town easy access to craft carrying goods on the river, or to bring water to the town for general purposes. By 1225 a bridge, later called the town bridge, had been built over the river at Cricklade. (fn. 41)
In the Middle Ages Cricklade still exercised a military function from time to time and was sometimes visited by kings. (fn. 42) On one occasion in the later 13th century it was the meeting place of the justices of assize, (fn. 43) although it never become an administrative centre for the county. The presence of moneyers suggests that it was already a prosperous town in the late Anglo-Saxon period, and a 12th century grant to the burgesses of freedom from toll and passage suggests it was then home to a community of merchants. (fn. 44) There were wine sellers in the 13th century, (fn. 45) and there may also have been a goldsmith; (fn. 46) Jews were active in the later 13th and early 14th centuries, (fn. 47) when Cricklade's merchants bought goods in Flanders and exported wool through London; (fn. 48) in the 16th and 17th centuries there were still some merchants, (fn. 49) engrossing, dealing in cattle, and buying wool. (fn. 50)
Cricklade's main street, called its great street c. 1270, (fn. 51) and High Street from 1412 or earlier, (fn. 52) almost certainly consisted of houses and business premises rather than of farmsteads. Shops and shambles stood there in the Middle Ages. (fn. 53) The streets called East Street and West Street in the earlier 15th century, (fn. 54) both presumably had buildings standing along them. East Street probably became Calcutt Lane in 1567 (fn. 55) and Calcutt Street later; West Street probably became Vicarage Lane c. 1546, (fn. 56) Church Lane in the 18th century, (fn. 57) and Bath Road later. Rutherns Lane, so called in 1332, (fn. 58) and Snows Lane, so called in 1416, (fn. 59) were probably narrow lanes leading between houses in High Street. Horsefair Lane, the back lane of High Street, was so called in the 16th century, (fn. 60) by when the early grid had probably been completed. No back lane developed behind the west side of High Street, probably because access into Bath Road would have been blocked by St Sampson's vicarage house and its garden.
The earliest and most substantial medieval buildings known from surviving or recorded evidence are those that were associated with St Sampson's church. The vicarage house, later called Candletree, existed by the late 13th or early 14th century, and stood on Bath road with its farmstead. The use of stone in these buildings reflects their high status and the wealth of St Sampson's church. St Michael's chapel was built in the town possibly in the 11th or 12th century, and may have stood in Calcutt Street. (fn. 61) St Mary's church was built in the earlier 12th century at the north end of High Street; it was extended into the street in the 13th century, when its chancel was lengthened.
A 14th-century cross was moved from High Street to St Sampson's churchyard in the early 19th century. It has an octagonal base, ornamented with quatrefoils, and an octagonal shaft. The shaft carries an oblong head embellished with canopied niches; the pinnacles have been removed from the angle buttresses of the head, and sculptured figures have been removed from the niches. (fn. 62) An iron cross which formed a finial was blown down in 1915, repaired, and put back in place in 1924. (fn. 63)
The only complete medieval house yet identified, no. 46, High Street, built c. 1500, is entirely timber-framed. It was planned as a two-bayed open hall parallel to the street and at the southern end another bay of accommodation on two storeys. (fn. 64) In the early 17th century the building was encased in coursed limestone rubble and stone-mullioned ovolo-moulded windows were added. A floor and a chimney were inserted into the hall and a north-west wing was built, probably replacing a detached kitchen. (fn. 65) If no. 46 is typical, the High Street would have been lined with timber-framed buildings in the Middle Ages, an appearance which was altered when stone façades became more usual in the 17th century. (fn. 66) Other medieval survivals may include a long timber-framed jettied wing to the rear of no. 35, (fn. 67) the 1½ storeyed house at the north east corner of St Sampson's churchyard which may be a late medieval house recased in stone, and the White Horse inn at the corner of Bath Road, (fn. 68) rebuilt in the early 19th century.
John Aubrey, writing in the later 17th century, suggested that Cricklade once had a market cross, resembling the 15th-century covered market crosses at Salisbury and Malmesbury, bearing the arms of a branch of the Hungerford family, (fn. 69) although there is no evidence of this. A market house stood in High Street to the north of Calcutt Street; it was open on the ground floor with an enclosed room above, supported on 10 stone pillars, and was demolished in 1814. (fn. 70) The pillars were said to survive as part of a farm building south of the town. (fn. 71) John Britton, writing in or before 1814, said that it had been built in 1569, claiming to have seen the date inscribed on the south-east side of the building. (fn. 72) There is no other record of such an inscription, (fn. 73) although a flying buttress supporting a south-east chapel of St Sampson's church does bear the date 1569, and Britton may have transposed his information about the market house and the buttress. It is more likely that the market house was built c. 1663, a period in which other market houses were built in Wiltshire and a new market for Cricklade was granted. (fn. 74) Perhaps mistaking Aubrey's statement about a covered cross for a reference to the market house, it has been claimed that both the market house at Cricklade and the south-east chapel of St Sampson's church were built by members of the Hungerford family of Down Ampney (Glos.); (fn. 75) there is no evidence to support either claim.
Two medieval farmsteads stood within the town's fortifications. In the north-east corner there were probably buildings on the site of Abingdon Court Farm before the town was built, and in the south-west corner the demesne court was probably held in the buildings on the site of Parsonage Farm in the 12th century. (fn. 76) Parsonage Farm included a large stone barn, probably of the late 15th or early 16th century, which came to be called a tithe barn. (fn. 77)
Immediately north of the town bridge a hospital dedicated to St John the Baptist, (fn. 78) was built probably in the 1220s. It was founded by Warin, a chaplain of the king, who was at Cricklade in 1227 and keeper of the hospital in 1231, to provide a home for poor and incapacitated priests and rest and refreshment to poor travellers. The prior of the hospital was to lead a regular life and wear a regular habit. The hospital may not have flourished immediately and some of the buildings intended for it had not been erected by 1237. (fn. 79) It came to be endowed with land, tenements, and tithes at Cricklade. (fn. 80) In 1535 its net income, £4 15s., was low; (fn. 81) in 1548 the prior lived in Dorset and the hospital was presumably not making the prescribed provisions. (fn. 82) The buildings and endowments were sold by the Crown to a mercer of Cricklade in 1550, (fn. 83) and some may have been put to commercial use.
A house of two storeys and attics and at least two units was built on part of the hospital site in the early 17th-century. Its west end survives as no. 2 the Priory, attached to no. 3 the Priory, a six-bayed single-pile range of two storeys and attics, which has a heavy collar truss roof and timber mullioned and transomed windows on the north, built c. 1700, perhaps replacing earlier fabric. Part of the surround of a large medieval window survives in the east wall of the house, likely to have belonged to the hospital buildings, which John Aubrey, writing in the 1660s, described as the east window of the chapel. (fn. 84) In the 17th century and later paupers were probably housed in a building on the east side of High Street which consisted of several tenements on the site of what is now 91 High Street. In 1840 the building was called a hospital, (fn. 85) a description which later led to the apparently mistaken belief that it was part of St John's hospital. (fn. 86)
17TH AND 18TH CENTURIES
During the Civil War, Cricklade found itself between the much-contested garrisons of Cirencester, Highworth and Malmsbury. Both of the town's Long Parliament MPs, Thomas Hodges and Robert Jenner, were supporters of Parliament. (fn. 87) Although Cricklade avoided much of the fighting, parliamentary forces quartered at Cricklade were attacked, and 40 of their horses were captured by royalists led by Sir Thomas Nott, (fn. 88) who may have been based at Great Lodge in Braydon forest. (fn. 89) The town did not escape the general dislocation of the period. In 1646, the inhabitants complained that, because of the war and the closure of the market following an outbreak of plague, they had been forced to maintain hundreds of poor and sick people for seven months. (fn. 90)
The town was not adversely affected by the events of the mid 17th century, however, and it continued to grow slowly. The street plan of Cricklade was little altered in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, but nearly all the buildings standing in 1600 were replaced or refronted. (fn. 91) High Street expanded along the roads leading north and south from it, northwards apparently from the 17th century and southwards apparently in the 18th, where a row of c. six houses was built on the west side of the road. (fn. 92) Port mill, which probably stood near the town bridge, is not known to have been standing after the 16th century. (fn. 93) The pool which remained near the bridge was used for washing horses and presumably for loading and unloading boats; (fn. 94) the bridge was rebuilt or partially rebuilt in the 1760s. (fn. 95)
Only three new houses of the early 17th century are recognizable from their external appearance, a 17thcentury wing of Abingdon Court Farm, no. 2, part of the Priory Brook House, no. 72 at the north end of High Street on the east side incorporates at its north end the gabled three-storeyed remains of a larger house which faced north and had timber-mullioned windows, from which survive the decorated lintels of a local type; its east rooms on all three floors were heated by a south chimney stack, against which a staircase rose. Later in the century a four-bayed south-western range was built on a slightly different alignment and a new west façade was applied across both old and new blocks to make a fine street front finished in squared and dressed stone with a high plinth and continuous dripmoulds. In c. 1700 the house was given a pitched roof with dormers, a deep moulded eaves cornice, and sashed windows.
A house probably dating from the early 17th century stood on the site of the rectory house of St Mary's church, (fn. 96) a north part of Alkerton House, 114 High Street, may represent the cross wing of another, (fn. 97) and a room with cross beams in the White Lion, 50 High Street, may be of the same period. More modest 17thcentury houses apparently include a 1½-storeyed one hidden by the later façade of 49 High Street, and a small house adjoining the north-east corner of St Sampson's churchyard. (fn. 98) Bath Road, which ran between the plots of what are now 31 and 32 High Street, (fn. 99) on each of which stood an inn, came to be lined with large outbuildings of the inns, perhaps as early as the 17th century. (fn. 100) Further west, and adjoining St Sampson's churchyard, the school was built in 1652. In 1726–7 it was converted to a parochial workhouse, and it was separated from the traffic in Bath Road in 1744 when a wall was built around it. (fn. 101)
The first half of the 18th century was a phase of vigorous building activity. At least 3 dozen houses survive from that period including some of the grandest. In July 1723 there was a serious fire in which 20 dwellings were destroyed. Collections were being made to relieve the 'loss by fire' suffered at Cricklade, as far away as Long Burton, Dorset, in 1724. (fn. 102) Although two houses in Bath Road are known to have burned down, (fn. 103) the survival of a timber-framed inn at the corner of Bath Road and High Street (fn. 104) suggests that the seat of the fire was elsewhere. It may have been in the north part of High Street between the White Lion and Abingdon Court Lane where several houses on each side of the street seem to have been built in the mid 18th century. Knoll Cottage no. 71, the Old Manor House no. 73, and the Red Lion no. 74, were all built in the early to mid 18th century.
In the 18th century the favoured location seems to have been at the south end of High Street near St Sampson's church and the manor house, where several large houses were built or refronted. The manor house was rebuilt c. 1700 as a two-storeyed stone house with dormers in a hipped roof. No. 23, a smaller but similarly sophisticated detached house, was built on a large plot on the west side of High Street in 1708, (fn. 105) for Richard Byrt, a town bailiff of the late 17th century. His grandson, Morgan Byrt, also served regularly as bailiff between 1770 and 1814, and was implicated in the controversial election of 1780 which led to the reform of Cricklade's franchise two years later. (fn. 106) The house is of five bays and two storeys with attics, has a compact double-pile plan, which includes services, under a hipped roof in which c. 1880 there were, as in the Hermitage, dormers with alternating pediments. (fn. 107) The symmetrical street façade is faced with dressed ashlar with rusticated quoins, modillion eaves course, band course, and swan-necked pediment over the door. The rear façade still retains cross-mullioned windows and a large integral kitchen chimney stack. Several other façades of this period were designed in similar style but on a smaller scale, and were built of coursed rubble, rendered, with dressed stone restricted to rusticated quoins and band courses; for example, nos 26 and 27; the plain no. 28, formerly the King's Head; nos 35–6 a pair with two-bayed façades; further north no. 38, White Horse Vale social club in 2004, detached and of four bays; and nos 45 and 47, two independent but joined houses. Two similar small houses nos 33–4, were built at the west end of Calcutt Street along the west side. A large house called the Hermitage was built off the south side of Calcutt Street c. 1700; it was of two storeys and, fronted with ashlar and having dormers with alternating pediments, of a sophisticated design. (fn. 108) On Calcutt Street two rows of houses and cottages had been built by 1775, (fn. 109) some of which survive. (fn. 110) On the north side no. 5 is a house of two storeys and attics and no. 7 was an inn, (fn. 111) and on the south side nos 33 and 34 are a pair also of two storeys and attics. Some of these houses stood inside the town's fortifications and others stood outside. (fn. 112) The right of the householders outside to vote in parliamentary elections was disputed in 1776, when it was alleged that the houses had been built to create votes. In 1830 the outbuildings of the Hermitage may have been used for farming. (fn. 113)
Humbler and plainer houses, many of only two bays, were built in High Street from its middle section up to its north end and at the east end of of Calcutt Street. Although most, including the Red Lion, were twostoreyed, more than a dozen were single-storeyed cottages with garrets in the roof, some of which have been raised to two storeys, for example nos 56 and the pair at nos 87–8. Very few seem to have incorporated older property, suggesting that this end of High Street was badly affected by the fire of 1723.
In the late 18th century less building took place. The south end of High Street retained its prestige. Facing the Byrt residence is no. 112, a smaller house of comparable quality, of five bays and two storeys with attics, later converted into a bank. No. 114, Alkerton House, was occupied by the Pleydell family until 1775, when it was bought by Arnold Nesbitt, the new lord of the manor; a plain four-bayed and two-storeyed south range was added and the north range was refronted to match it. The house was owned by successive lords of the manor until Joseph Pitt sold it to the surgeon Thomas Taylor c. 1842. (fn. 114) No. 109, Danvers House, was given a new street façade with Venetian-style windows in a recessed surround, an unusually ambitious motif in Cricklade. As there was no back lane along this stretch of High Street, Danvers House and its neighbours were planned with side passages within the forebuilding to give access to extensive rear wings. There was also some minor rebuilding work in other parts of High Street.
THE 19TH CENTURY
Building activity seems to have revived a little in the early 19th century: older houses were refronted and commercial properties were enlarged or rebuilt. The market house in High Street was demolished in 1814, (fn. 115) the cross was removed from High Street to St Sampson's churchyard probably between 1817 and 1820, (fn. 116) and major improvements to the surface of High Street were made between 1814 and c. 1830. (fn. 117) By 1840 tannery and foundry buildings stood between Brook House and the river, (fn. 118) and the buildings of the foundry were replaced by a school built in 1860. The town bridge was rebuilt in 1854, (fn. 119) and in 1870 a Nonconformist chapel was built immediately north of it.
Although no new house of high social status was erected several large houses were modernized. Alkerton House was given a porch with Tuscan columns, and no. 3, part of the Priory was altered: a range of three bays and three storeys, resembling a house but partly in industrial use, was added to the north side and incorporated a taking-in door in the north gable; some buildings on the site were used for tanning and gloving and for fellmongering in the early 19th century, (fn. 120) and one was used as a Nonconformist meeting house. (fn. 121)
New building in High Street and Calcutt Street replaced older buildings; including 75–6 High Street, opposite the chancel of St Mary's church; and no. 30, previously the location of White's chemist's shop, which was replaced after the building was burnt down in 1893. (fn. 122) Some new houses incorporated shops, for example no. 29, or had new shopfronts fitted, like the 18th-century houses at nos 31 and 107. The White Horse, later the Vale Hotel, was rebuilt in the earlier 19th century in an elegant style, stables and other large outbuildings were erected behind the Old Bear, and the Red Lion was extended. (fn. 123) The Three Horseshoes may have been converted from existing buildings and given its carriage arch, and the White Hart was rebuilt in 1890 in a many gabled Domestic-Revival style that left it the largest and most elaborate commercial building in High Street. A privately-owned town hall was built at the south end of High Street in 1861, and terraces of houses built on the west side during the late 18th and the 19th centuries linked the street to houses built outside the line of the fortifications in the 18th century. (fn. 124) To celebrate Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee a clock mounted on a decorated cast-iron pillar was erected at the crossroads; it was unveiled in 1898, lit by gas, and painted in 1900. (fn. 125)
In Calcutt Street, a Nonconformist meeting house was built in 1798–9, and that was enlarged and two more were built in the 19th century. Most 19th-century building, however, was of small houses on new sites or to replace existing buildings. The Hermitage was transformed into the largest house in the town and renamed Manor House: in 1875 it consisted of a rectangular block with a long east wing; by 1898 it had been rebuilt in more than one phase as a much larger Lplan house. (fn. 126) In 1902 the house had a seven-bayed façade, which replicated the design of the Hermitage and to which a grand porch had been added, and an east bay with large mullioned and transomed windows; in that year the façade was extended westwards to nine bays and a further west bay was added. (fn. 127)
In Bath Road the workhouse was enlarged c. 1800, but later reduced and restored to work as a school in the early 1840s. (fn. 128) St Sampson's parish housed paupers in a pair of cottages nearby, but these were demolished between 1842 and 1875. (fn. 129) A fire engine house was built in 1858, (fn. 130) stables and kennels were built for the Vale of the White Horse hunt probably in the mid 1880s, and a cemetery was opened in 1900. West of the fortifications, buildings on waste ground on the south side of the road were replaced by a terrace of four cottages built in the mid 19th century. (fn. 131)
In the 19th century, five lanes led east and west between buildings in High Street; Red Lion Lane and Abingdon Court Lane on the east side, Rectory Lane, Mutton (later Gas) Lane, and Church Street (later Church Lane) on the west. Red Lion Lane contained the outbuildings of the Red Lion and several cottages; (fn. 132) houses in Abingdon Court Lane (fn. 133) were added to between 1840 and 1875, (fn. 134) whilst buildings in Rectory Lane were replaced with terraces of small cottages. (fn. 135) In Mutton Lane, which followed the boundary between St Sampson's and St Mary's parishes, (fn. 136) buildings erected to the south between 1842 and 1875 included a school apparently open in 1859. At the west end of the lane a gasworks was built probably c. 1859. (fn. 137) Church Street, which leads to St Sampson's churchyard, was lined with buildings, one of which, a small house of one storey and attic built of stone, probably dates from the 17th century. (fn. 138)
The two lanes leading north from Calcutt Street were Ridler's (later Grubbs and then Thames) Lane, leading to Abingdon Court Farm, and Horsefair Lane, which gave access to the burghal plots of 80–105 High Street. Few buildings fronted it in 1830, although some had been erected in the lane itself where it widened at its north and south ends. On many of the burghal plots buildings were erected between 1830 and 1875, presumably for commercial or industrial use.
Known as the Forty and Spital Lane, two squatter settlements grew up on waste ground on the outskirts of the town. In Spital Lane, off Calcutt Street, several buildings standing c. 1800 were replaced by houses built in the 19th century. (fn. 139) At the Forty, beside the Purton road, a dozen cottages and houses had been built by c. 1800, (fn. 140) two of the oldest possibly dating from the 17th century, and by 1898 the suburb had grown. (fn. 141) Some 19th-century buildings were for industrial use, but most were low quality houses and many were demolished or replaced in the 20th century. The Forty was extended southwards when houses and bungalows were built on Giles Avenue off the west side of the Purton road c. 1950; (fn. 142) and a telephone exchange was also built on the east side of the road.
The 20th Century
In 1914 housing was concentrated in High Street, Calcutt Street, Abingdon Court Lane, Grubbs Lane, and at the Forty, (fn. 143) and the town grew little between then and c. 1950. After 1918 there was little commercial or public building in the centre of the town. In High Street a few properties were replaced by low quality shops and houses; a police station, no. 91, was built in 1921–2 and refronted in 1962; and in 1933 a new town hall was built and the Old Bear rebuilt in a late pared-down Arts-andCrafts style. There was some new building in the lanes off High Street: a house was refronted in Rectory Lane in 1927; in Church Lane a small house was built in 1907 and a large house called the Croft replaced a line of small buildings in 1913. (fn. 144)
In the Second World War eight Nissen huts were erected south of the town hall, mainly used by the Army Cadet Corps, the NAAFI, and the Red Cross; and both the Red Lion and the White Hart were requisitioned by the War Department. (fn. 145) In the mid 20th century the market held in High Street ceased, (fn. 146) and in the later 20th century the number of shops, inns and public houses fell and manufacturing ceased. Traffic conditions were improved by the widening of the junction of High Street and Calcutt Street in 1968; (fn. 147) a new road built in 1970 along the line of the railway to the south of the town replaced Bath Road as the route to Malmesbury, and a road built along the line of Ermin Street in 1975 bypassed the town to the north-east. After the opening of the new road to Malmesbury, Bath Road was closed to vehicles between St Sampson's church and the school.
Cricklade and Wootton Bassett Rural District Council was responsible for new building on the outskirts of the town, beginning in 1921–2 with a row of 16 brick semi-detached houses, built on Common Hill, the part of the Malmesbury road west of the town. (fn. 148) In 1932 the council constructed eight semi-detached houses more cheaply of concrete blocks at Fairview, north of Calcutt Street and east of Spital Lane. (fn. 149) They are of a type built throughout the rural district.
Most later 20th century growth was west of the town. In Bath Road stables and kennels were replaced by new housing in the early 1950s: between 1953 and 1957 the council built over 100 semi-detached brick houses and bungalows in Culverhay estate, north of Bath Road and west of the cemetery. (fn. 150) The plots were generous and in 1968–9 Pike House Close was built on the long back gardens of one of the streets. (fn. 151) A new school was built to the east of the cemetery in 1959. South of Bath Road new housing and a new fire station were built in the early 1960s; Parsonage Farm, requisitioned by the War Department in the Second World War, and the tithe barn were demolished in 1964 and were replaced by new housing and a temporary public library. (fn. 152) Housing density was much greater on the Parsonage Farm estate, built in the 1970s, which consisted of courts of brown brick terraced houses, plain blocks of flats, and an old people's home near St Sampson's church. (fn. 153) The Gasworks was replaced by housing in Gas Lane, and houses were also built in Portwell c. 1992. (fn. 154)
West of the town speculative building of several hundred new houses on private estates began in the 1960s. South of Bath Road, Doubledays, an estate of detached bungalows was built in 1961–2; (fn. 155) from 1964–7 plain semi-detached houses were built at Pauls Croft between the town's fortifications and the railway line at the south end of High Street; (fn. 156) in 1972–3 Waylands, an estate of Scandinavian-style houses hung with green clay tiles was built east of High Street and north of the town's fortifications, which divided Waylands from Pauls Croft to the south; (fn. 157) west of Doubledays Cliffords was built in 1975–6. (fn. 158) Chalet bungalows were popular and many houses had attached or integral garages and open front gardens in North American style: Bishopsfield, Deansfield, and Pittsfield were built c. 1970 south of Malmesbury Road, using a sophisticated layout with paths leading between the cul-de-sacs to St Sampson's church. (fn. 159) The houses built in the late 1970s on Hallsfield and other private estates were of plain appearance with the addition of box-like oriel windows and were closely grouped around courts. (fn. 160) A new estate approached from West Mill Lane, was built c. 1975; and neo-varnacular style was used for an estate built at North Wall in the early 1980s, partly bounded by the town's northern line fortifications, (fn. 161) and for small houses on infill sites in the town. Further expansion took place in the 1990s west of West Mill Lane, in Reeds and other roads. (fn. 162)
Development also took place in the east of the town from the mid 20th century. In Calcutt Street Manor House, formerly the Hermitage, became the Priory school in 1946 and new buildings were erected in 1947, the 1960s, and later. Cottages east of it were replaced by a commercial garage, which later closed and the converted showroom became a nursery school. About 1991 Hammonds was built between the junctions with Horsefair Lane and Thames Lane; (fn. 163) a number of individual houses were built on these lanes; (fn. 164) Manor Orchard was built on the east side of Thames Lane c. 1996; (fn. 165) and in c. 2002 the site of Abingdon Court Farm was developed. Development east of the town began in 2003 when Stockham Close was built. (fn. 166) Here there was a more varied layout of Victorian-style houses in a limited range of types and sizes, with garages or shared parking shelters.
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
Cricklade was apparently built c. 880 as a planned town on land, which before that date, was probably used in common by the men of Chelworth, and was therefore controlled by and subject to the lord of Chelworth. A manor of Cricklade is recorded in the 13th century, which had no other land besides that on which the town stood. Presumably from the time of the town's foundation the owners of the tenements there paid rent to successive kings. In the mid 11th century the rents from some of the tenements belonged to Cricklade church, which had probably been endowed with them by the king at its foundation. The Crown had granted away other tenements by 1086, when the king held tenements worth £5, (fn. 167) and other tenements were granted away later. The manorial court seems to have functioned as a borough court and eventually to have appointed the borough's main officials and to have been responsible for providing some public services. Other local institutions which played a significant role in local government were Wayland's charity, which from the late 16th century paid officials of the borough, the bailiff and constables, and St Sampson's vestry which appointed two surveyors of the highways.
The tenements in Cricklade were held by burghal tenure, (fn. 168) and the rents were paid to the king and to subsequent lords of the borough. By the mid 13th century the profits of lordship, comprising the rents, the tolls of markets and fairs held in the town, and the perquisites of courts held for the borough, (fn. 169) had come to be called Cricklade manor. (fn. 170)
In 1156 the rents worth £5 were held by Warin FitzGerold (d. 1159, without living issue), a chamberlain of the Exchequer. Warin's estate passed to his brother Henry FitzGerold (d. 1174–5), also a chamberlain of the Exchequer, who was succeeded by his son Warin FitzGerold. (fn. 171) About 1211 Warin's tenure of the lordship of Cricklade borough was by serjeanty, the service being that of a chamberlain in the Exchequer. (fn. 172) The estate at Cricklade was among the former demesne lands of the Crown resumed by Henry III in 1216 or 1217, but it was restored to Warin in 1217. (fn. 173) It had passed by 1224 to Warin's daughter and heir Margery (d. 1252), the widow of Baldwin de Reviers and the wife of Faukes de Breauté (d. 1226). Margery was succeeded by her grandson Baldwin de Reviers, earl of Devon and lord of the Isle of Wight (d. 1262), whose heir was his sister Isabel, the widow of William de Forz, count of Aumale. (fn. 174) In 1276 Isabel granted estates, including Cricklade manor and still held for service as a chamberlain of the Exchequer, to her attorney Adam Stratton. (fn. 175) In 1289 Cricklade manor was among the estates taken into the king's hand when Adam was charged with corruption. (fn. 176)
Margery de Reviers granted 20s. 8d. rent from Cricklade to John of Elsfield, probably c. 1247. (fn. 177) The rent descended to John's son Gilbert, whose widow Gillian married Ingram le Waleys and afterwards John de St Helen. In 1276–7 the rent, which arose from six burgages in the town, was sold by Waleys to Adam de Stratton. (fn. 178) With Cricklade manor it was taken into the king's hand in 1289. (fn. 179) In 1318–19 Gilbert's grandson Gilbert Elsfield recovered the rent from the king on the grounds that Gillian had held it only for her life, and in 1329 that Gilbert's son Gilbert returned it to the king in an exchange. (fn. 180) The rent was presumably restored to Cricklade manor.
Other rent from Cricklade had descended by 1262 from William of Aylesbury to his son Warin of Aylesbury. (fn. 181) By 1278 Warin's son William of Aylesbury had sold the rent of 19½ burgage plots to Adam Stratton. (fn. 182) It was presumably merged with Cricklade manor.
Cricklade manor passed with the Crown from 1289 to 1391. It was held as dower from 1299 by Queen Margaret (d. 1318), (fn. 183) from 1318 by Queen Isabel, who returned it to the king in 1330, (fn. 184) and from 1331 by Queen Philippa (d. 1369). (fn. 185) It was almost certainly among estates granted in 1391 to Edmund, duke of York (d. 1402), (fn. 186) and was held by Edmund's son and heir Edward, duke of York (d. 1415). (fn. 187) Edward's widow Philippa (d. 1431) held a third of it for life. (fn. 188) From 1415 Edward's lands were held in trust for his nephew Richard, duke of York (d. 1460), who had livery of his lands in 1432. (fn. 189) In 1459 the lands were forfeited when Richard was attainted, in 1460 they were restored to Richard and passed to his son Edward, duke of York, (fn. 190) and from 1461, when Edward acceded as Edward IV, to 1547 Cricklade manor again passed with the Crown. From 1461 the manor was held for life by Cecily (d. 1495), the widow of Richard, duke of York, (fn. 191) from 1495 to 1547 it was part of the jointure of queens consort, and it was held by Catherine Parr at Henry VIII's death. (fn. 192) In 1547 the reversion was granted to Catherine's husband Thomas Seymour, Lord Seymour, who held the manor from Catherine's death in 1548 until he was attainted in 1549. (fn. 193)
From 1549 Cricklade manor was again held by the Crown, until it was granted to George and Thomas Whitmore in 1611. (fn. 194) In 1618 George sold it to Edmund Maskelyne (fn. 195) (d. 1630) of Purton, the lord of Chelworth Cricklade manor and owner of an estate in Purton. Maskelyne was succeeded by his son Nevil (fn. 196) (d. 1679), he by his grandson Nevil Maskelyne (fn. 197) (d. 1711), and he by his son Nevil. In 1718 Nevil sold the manor to William Gore (d. 1739) of Tring (Herts.), who was succeeded by his son Charles. (fn. 198)
In the 18th century Cricklade manor was useful to those who sought to influence parliamentary elections at Cricklade, and in the later 18th century and earlier 19th successive lords of the manor also owned many tenements in the town. In 1762 Charles Gore sold the manor to George Prescott. In 1763 Prescott sold it to Arnold Nesbitt (d. 1779, without issue), who devised it to trustees, and in 1780 the trustees contracted to sell it to Paul Benfield, a trader in India, who entered on it in that year. In 1790 Chancery ordered that the contract should be observed, and in 1791 the sale to Benfield was completed and Benfield sold the manor to Henry Herbert, Lord Porchester (earl of Carnarvon from 1793, d. 1811). The manor descended to Lord Carnarvon's son Henry, Lord Carnarvon, who sold it in 1815 to Joseph Pitt (d. 1842). Pitt devised it to his son Joseph, who sold it in 1842, separately from Pitt's many tenements in the town, to Joseph Neeld. (fn. 199) Cricklade manor, then of little value, passed on Neeld's death in 1856 to his brother John (created a baronet in 1859, d. 1891), and it passed in turn to Sir John's sons Sir Algernon Neeld Bt (d. 1900), and Sir Audley Neeld Bt (d. 1941). (fn. 200)
In 1008 King Æthelred gave a praediolum or a haga, probably a tenement in the town, to Abingdon abbey (Berks. later Oxon.), (fn. 201) and later in the Middle Ages burgage plots were held by Cirencester abbey (Glos.), Glastonbury abbey (Som.), Godstow abbey (Oxon.), Shaftesbury abbey (Dorset), Bradenstoke priory, Malmesbury abbey, and St John's hospital at Cricklade. (fn. 202) By 1086 holdings of several burgages had been accumulated: Alfred of Marlborough held seven, the king held six which had been Gytha's in 1066, St Peter's abbey, Winchester (the New Minster), also held six, the bishop of Salisbury held five, Odo of Winchester held three, and Robert held three from Humphrey de Lisle. (fn. 203)
By 1779, as part of his attempt to control parliamentary elections, Arnold Nesbitt, MP for Cricklade and the lord of Cricklade manor, had bought c. 45 houses in the town. The tenements passed with the manor to Paul Benfield. In 1815 Lord Carnarvon sold c. 36 tenements with the manor to Joseph Pitt, and in the 1830s Pitt owned 66 or more tenements in the town. (fn. 204) The tenements were apparently sold individually from 1842 by Pitt's successor in title. (fn. 205)
THE BOROUGH AND ITS COURTS
The freedom of the burgesses of Cricklade from toll and passage was granted or confirmed in the later 12th century, and a guarantee that their goods would not be seized for a debt in respect of which they were not sureties or the principal debtors was given in 1267. (fn. 206) Those liberties were confirmed several times, (fn. 207) but the burgesses acquired no additional liberty and the borough was never self-governing.
The lord of Cricklade manor, which comprised only Cricklade borough, was also the lord of Cricklade hundred and enjoyed liberties which brought in income, defined in the 1280s as execution and return of writs, pleas of vee de naam, concerning goods confiscated as security, gallows, pillory, tumbril, and the assize of bread and of ale. The burgesses owed suit to the hundred, (fn. 208) the suit of other men was apparently withdrawn by their lords, and probably from the 13th century the three-weekly hundred court and the twiceyearly view dealt only with the business of Cricklade borough. The court and the view of frankpledge were apparently held at regular intervals in the 15th and 16th centuries. (fn. 209) Records are extant for 1545–7, 1754, 1799, and 1807–55. In the 18th and 19th centuries the view was called the court leet and view of frankpledge of the lord of the manor of the borough and hundred of Cricklade. (fn. 210)
The court and the view were held by a visiting steward, and the lord's principal officer in the borough was the bailiff. In the mid 15th century the bailiff's main functions were to collect the rents and other payments due to the lord, presumably to conduct parliamentary elections, and probably to convene the court and the view. (fn. 211) In the mid 15th century there were two constables, whose function was presumably to keep order. (fn. 212) In the mid 16th century and almost certainly earlier there were two aldermen, an ale taster and a water bailiff. (fn. 213) In the mid 18th century the view appointed the bailiff, two aldermen, two constables, two ale tasters, two water bailiffs, and two inspectors of meat. It also appointed a crier, who was possibly responsible for convening it and for the swearing in of the jurors and officers. By 1799 the yearly appointment of aldermen and of one of the water bailiffs had ceased and the appointment of two leather sealers and a scavenger had begun. Later a hayward was appointed. One constable acted for that part of the borough in St Mary's parish, the other for that part of the borough in St Sampson's, and the same division of labour apparently governed the activities of the other officers elected in pairs. (fn. 214)
In 1267–8 and 1280–1 men of Cricklade were amerced for selling wine in a way that broke the assize. (fn. 215) In the mid 16th century neither the court nor the view was vigorous, and the offences dealt with were narrow in range and small in number. At the court pleas were made, the aldermen made occasional presentments of offences such as assault or failure to control pigs, and the ale taster presented brewers who had broken the assize. At the view the aldermen presented the offences of butchers, bakers, millers, and an innkeeper, the ale taster again presented brewers, and the presentments were affirmed and added to by a jury or what was called the whole tithing. The failure to scour a ditch and to repair a street were presented by the whole tithing in 1546. (fn. 216)
There is evidence that the court heard cases concerning the recovery of small debts until the 19th century, (fn. 217) but no direct record survives after 1547. (fn. 218) The view of frankpledge probably increased in importance in the later 16th and 17th centuries, as similar courts did elsewhere. (fn. 219) To judge from the titles of the 18th-century officers, it was responsible for good order in the borough and the regulation of the market and fairs. It dealt with apparently increasing numbers of public nuisances, and in the 18th century it defended the lord's right to the waste land in the borough. In 1754 it ordered the repair of the pitching in the streets, the removal of dung obstructing a watercourse, and the removal of a hayrick and a pigsty from the waste; in 1799 the disrepair of the streets, drains, and watercourses, and encroachments on the waste, remained the principal concerns. (fn. 220)
In the 19th century the view of frankpledge was held annually in October, from 1812 or earlier in the town hall, then the upper room of the market house, and from 1822 in the White Hart. Its main functions were to appoint officers and remedy public nuisances. In 1809 a man was amerced for allowing carts to stand in the street opposite his house and another for emptying his lime pits in front of his. In 1813 new presentments included nine resulting in orders to repair the pitching of the streets, five in orders to remove dunghills, four in orders to repair drains, and one in an order to take down a penthouse which was an encroachment on the waste; marginal notes in the record suggest that half the 20 orders were obeyed. (fn. 221)
From 1815 the view of frankpledge appointed a hayward each year and began to oversee the use in common of North meadow. The hayward was to mark animals feeding in the meadow and to impound animals found loose in the streets. (fn. 222) The view's supervision of tradesmen and the market, however, may have been in decline in the earlier 19th century. The presentment, made in 1826 (fn. 223) and often repeated, that the borough lacked the standard imperial weights and measures against which the ale tasters might compare the weights and measures used by the tradesmen and publicans of the borough may reflect continuing concern with trade in the town or, perhaps more likely, have provided an excuse for inactivity. In the 1850s an attempt by the ale tasters to inspect the measures in use at the Bear were successfully defied by the publican. (fn. 224) From 1832 no leather sealer was appointed because the duty on leather had been removed. (fn. 225) The view's concern for the maintenance, safety, and cleanliness of the streets continued. In 1835 it ordered the demolition of the Bear because it was dilapidated and dangerous, in 1842 it ordered the nuisance caused by a privy in Calcutt Street to be remedied, and in 1848 it ordered the feoffees of the Waylands charity to erect a wall or fence on the bridge over the Thames. (fn. 226)
About 1840 the view met at 11 a.m., the jurors having been summoned a week in advance on a warrant issued by the bailiff and delivered by the crier. The officers were chosen, walked about the town, reported nuisances, which were recorded, and went to dinner. The parties who were presented for causing nuisances were notified, and thereafter the bailiff, the crier, and the jurors went to dinner. (fn. 227) From 1852 the view did no more than appoint officers and recite former orders, (fn. 228) and in 1858 it was said to be shunned by the inhabitants and to be a mockery. There was apparently no further meeting of the view until 1899, when it met to delegate the management of North meadow to the new parish council. In 1919 the council declined the management of the meadow, and the view may have met occasionally thereafter. (fn. 229) It met in 1942, had not met again by c. 1960, (fn. 230) and met in 1966 and not again until 1976. (fn. 231) In the early 21st century it was again meeting to supervise the grazing of North meadow. (fn. 232)
They were held monthly at Cricklade in the early 19th century, presumably in one of the inns. (fn. 233) From 1862 they were held fortnightly and later monthly in the town hall. (fn. 234) The sessions were held in the new town hall from 1933 and ceased in 1993. (fn. 235)
Parish government was concerned primarily with administering amenities for the townspeople. The parishes of St Sampson and St Mary each relieved its own poor from the 16th century to 1835. Each was responsible for maintaining its highways, but was relieved of much of the financial burden by the Waylands charity. Both parishes joined Cricklade and Wootton Bassett poor-law union at its formation in 1835 and remained part of it as it became a rural sanitary authority and a rural district. (fn. 236) A council for each parish met 1894–9 and for the united parish from 1899; none had much power. In 1974 Cricklade parish became part of North Wiltshire district. (fn. 237)
ST SAMPSON'S PARISH
Although the churchwardens were still giving money to the needy in the 1670s, (fn. 238) by 1634 it had become the practice for the parish to appoint four overseers. (fn. 239) By 1689 the vestry had asserted its close control over the management of poor relief, approving all new recipients and any increased payments. In the mid 18th century it met about once a month and was attended by no more than five members, who assessed applications for relief. A select vestry was appointed in 1819, and a new select vestry met three times in 1827. Between 1689 and 1835 the vestry took and authorized measures to relieve the poor at the least cost to the parish, the measures becoming more diverse as the number and cost of paupers grew. (fn. 240) In 1775–6 £239 was spent on the poor, in the three years ending at Easter 1785 an average of £395. In 1802–3, when the poor rate was low for the hundred, £721 was spent and included the cost of relieving 117 non-parishioners, presumably travellers on the London–Gloucester road. (fn. 241) From 1813–14 to 1834–5 expenditure exceeded £1,000 in all but two years and exceeded £2,000 in three. (fn. 242)
The overseers were chosen from the ratepayers and, subject to the vestry, levied rates and relieved the poor. In the 1750s two acted for the urban part of the parish and two for the remainder; by the 1790s each overseer served for 13 weeks throughout the parish. (fn. 243) From 1821 the overseers' work was limited to levying the poor rate, and a salaried assistant overseer administered the dayto-day relief of the poor. In 1829–30 this work and the levying of the rates was done by a salaried deputy overseer, who was also master of the workhouse, and there was a salaried assistant overseer; from 1830 the deputy overseer administered the day-to-day relief, there was a master of the workhouse, and there was no assistant overseer. Beadles were appointed in 1760 and 1828: it is not clear whether there was one in office in the intervening period. In 1834 the beadle was paid 10s. a week; the office was abolished in 1835. (fn. 244)
The parish provided housing and a workhouse, gave weekly cash doles, and made many ad hoc payments to the poor. By the late 17th century paupers of St Sampson's were housed in part of a building called an almshouse in St Mary's parish, probably the building on High Street later called the hospital. (fn. 245) In 1711 St Sampson's housed paupers in tenements it owned, and by 1719 it had begun to house them in Jenner's school, which it converted to a workhouse in 1726–7. (fn. 246) The parish obtained other tenements, and in 1835 it housed 33 or more paupers in tenements held on lease. It surrendered all its leases in 1836, and its seven cottages were sold in 1840–1. (fn. 247) The vestry tried to find work for able-bodied paupers outside the workhouse. It promoted cloth making in the 1750s by employing a spinning master and giving pairs of cards to paupers; (fn. 248) in 1818 any wages earned by those who received cash doles were kept by the overseers to reduce the rate; in 1819 men could be set to work on improving the land of the Hundred Acres charity; in 1824 unemployed labourers were required to mend roads, (fn. 249) and in 1833 an attempt was made to provide work for them on farms. (fn. 250) The parish paid for apprenticeships (fn. 251) and in the 1820s and 1830s paid the passage of poor parishioners who emigrated to America. In 1830 the parish agreed to pay two doctors £25 a year to provide medical services for the poor, including surgery and midwifery, and to provide medicine and vaccination, except during epidemics. (fn. 252)
Jenner's school, in use as a poorhouse from 1719, was converted into a workhouse in 1726–7. A salaried governor was appointed and in 1728 the overseers bought 100 yd. of serge, presumably to clothe the inmates. (fn. 253) Arrangements for managing the workhouse varied little. In 1740 a woman was appointed with a salary of £2 a year, and for 2s. a week for each inmate she provided food, drink, candles, and soap for the inmates, and washed and mended their clothes. The parish provided the inmates' coal and, when necessary, new clothes. A master was appointed on similar terms in 1744. (fn. 254) The parish enlarged the workhouse to more than double its size in the early 19th century. (fn. 255) There were 28 adults and children in the workhouse in 1802–3, an average of 35 from 1812–13 to 1814–15, (fn. 256) and apparently c. 30 in the earlier 1830s. (fn. 257)
In 1819 the master's allowance was increased to 3s. a week for each inmate, but he was obliged to feed the inmates with meat three days a week and with bread and cheese on the other days; he also kept the profits of the inmates' labour, and lived with his wife in the workhouse. (fn. 258) The inmates were required to attend divine service. In 1827 the vestry ordered that the doors of the workhouse should be locked at 8 p.m. in winter, at 9 p.m. in summer; the inmates were to be given a hot dinner on Sundays and on one other day of the week. (fn. 259) As an experiment the parish managed the workhouse for a month in 1832 without a master, finding that it cost 3s. 4½d. a week to maintain each inmate. It therefore appointed a mistress with a salary of £12 p.a. and a weekly allowance of 2s. 4d. per inmate, and allowed her to keep the profits of the inmates' labour. The parish agreed to keep the number of inmates up to 30 until November 1835, when control of the workhouse passed to the poor-law union, and the buildings were used as a school once more from the 1840s. (fn. 260)
In 1634, following the disafforestation of Braydon forest, c. 100 a. of the Crown's land in the forest was placed in trust for the poor of Cricklade and Chelworth, in lieu of common rights they had lost. The Crown retained c. 2,000 a. in St Sampson's parish and the tenants claimed this was ample provision for the poor and refused to pay the poor rate. (fn. 261) In 1636 the Wiltshire justices ordered them to pay; the court of the Exchequer denied their liability to do so. Although such orders and denials were repeated in 1675, 1705, and 1773, (fn. 262) by 1689 the Crown's lessees or their undertenants had begun to pay rates. (fn. 263) They possibly did so in response to arguments put forward in 1670 that to resist might cost more than the tax and that only by paying could the Crown guarantee peaceful enjoyment of its land to the tenants. (fn. 264) Equally grudgingly the parish accepted its liability to relieve the poor living or born on the Crown's land. To do so it sought help in 1709 and 1715 from St Mary's parish and in 1741 from the trustees holding the 100 a., each time apparently in vain. (fn. 265)
The Waylands charity maintained the highways in and about Cricklade from 1566–7 to the 20th century, thus relieving St Sampson's and St Mary's parishes of much of the cost. (fn. 266) From the late 17th century St Sampson's appointed two surveyors of highways, one for the borough and one for the rest of the parish. (fn. 267) Rates were collected from the early 19th century, a salaried assistant surveyor was employed until 1851. (fn. 268) Widhill, although part of the parish, was not subject to St Sampson's highways rate, appointing its own surveyor to maintain its own highways. (fn. 269)
At the disafforestation of Braydon forest the Crown's commissioners marked out 8–9 miles of roads across the forest, and in 1630 the court of the Exchequer allotted 150 a. for their courses across what remained the Crown's land in St Sampson's and Purton parishes. The court also ordered that the roads were to be maintained by those whose land they crossed. Although in the allotment of portions of the 150 a. to each of the roads there was a dispute whether the size of the allotment should be in proportion not only to the length of the road but also to the condition of the soil under it and the frequency with which it was used, the freedom of St Sampson's parish from obligation to repair the roads was apparently unchallenged. (fn. 270) That freedom was confirmed in 1823 when the parish was acquitted on an indictment of not repairing a road through the former forest. (fn. 271) Roads in those parts of the forest owned by, or allotted to, others than the Crown in 1630 were apparently maintained by the parish. A third surveyor, for Braydon, chosen by the parish in the 1840s and 1850s, was presumably responsible for them. (fn. 272)
Cricklade highway district was formed in 1864; (fn. 273) from then the district's board maintained the highways, and the parish merely elected waywardens to the board and raised a rate to pay for the work. (fn. 274)
St Mary's Parish
The parish had two overseers of the poor in 1634. (fn. 275) Neither their account books, nor the minute books of the vestry before 1865, are extant. (fn. 276) The parish spent £51 on the poor in 1775–6, an average of £63 in the three years starting at Easter 1782. The poor rate was very high for the hundred in 1802–3, when £166 was spent on relieving 13 adults and 9 children permanently and 19 people occasionally; all relief was outdoor. (fn. 277) The parish spent £238 on maintaining the poor in 1812–13 and £100–£200 a year between then and 1823–4. (fn. 278) Thereafter spending again rose. From 1824–5 to 1828–9 it was three times over £200, and from 1829–30 to 1833–4 three times over £300. (fn. 279)
St Mary's parish did not have a workhouse, although it may have housed its paupers in part of the almshouse used by St Sampson's parish. (fn. 280) By 1813 the parish had a poorhouse, which in 1830 was the house now called the Old Manor House at the north end of High Street. (fn. 281)
The councils of St Sampson's and St Mary's parishes met for the first time on 31 December 1894, when St Mary's declared itself unwilling to merge with St Sampson's. In 1897, St Sampson's petitioned the county council for amalgamation, and following an enquiry, the two parishes were united as Cricklade parish in 1899. (fn. 282) The new parish council, which at first met monthly, accepted the management of North meadow in 1899; its clerk was appointed hayward and an underhayward was appointed to mark cattle and sheep. (fn. 283) The council resigned the management in 1919. (fn. 284) Sitting as a burial board it managed Cricklade cemetery, and it paid for the services of a fire brigade from 1936 to 1947. A coat of arms was granted to the council in 1948, (fn. 285) which from 1974 was called a town council. (fn. 286)
The income from an estate known as the Wayland's charity was used from the 16th century by the bailiff and constables of the borough to maintain the highways of both St Sampson's and St Mary's parishes. The charity owned an estate which had belonged to a chantry in St Sampson's church which was suppressed in 1547, then comprising of c. 15 cottages and houses in the town. In 1566 the Crown sold the estate to William Grice and Charles Newcommen, who sold it to leading townspeople in 1566–7; this appears to have been the establishment of the charity. (fn. 287) The court of Chancery ordered the appointment of new trustees in 1746, (fn. 288) and again in 1836; (fn. 289) and from 1866 the charity's estate was vested in the Official Trustee. The Charity Commission ordered the appointment of new trustees in 1882, and Schemes of that year and 1893 regulated the management of the charity. Under a Scheme of 1903 there were 12 trustees: two ex officio (the bailiff and the county councillor representing Cricklade), seven representing the parish, rural district, and county councils, and three co-opted. (fn. 290)
The charity's estate consisted mainly of tenements in the town and a ½ yardland at Chelworth. (fn. 291) Allotments were made to the trustees at the inclosures of 1788 and c. 1816, (fn. 292) and in 1833–4 the estate comprised 51 a. of pasture and c. 30 houses and cottages in the town. The houses, cottages, and c. 2 a. of pasture were leased on lives; c. 49 a. of pasture was let by auction, for £80 in 1833. (fn. 293) About 1868 the charity's income was £202 a year. (fn. 294) Some houses and cottages were sold or demolished c. 1893–1901, and in 1903 the charity had an income of £222 from 45 a., nine houses and cottages, and £1,597 stock, (fn. 295) which rose to a total income of c. £647 in 1950. (fn. 296) The charity had sold the rest of its estate by 1975–6, and invested the proceeds; (fn. 297) in 2000 it had an income of £6,858. (fn. 298)
The Wayland's charity paid for the maintenance of roads by discharging the expenses of the overseers of the highways of St Sampson's and St Mary's parishes and, in place of statute labour, by making payments to the surveyors of the turnpike roads which passed through the two parishes. It often required particular repairs to be carried out, and it paid for paving the streets, building bridges, cutting ditches, and cleansing streams. In 1826 the trustees resolved to make no future payment in respect of roads outside the town, and payments to the surveyors of turnpike roads ceased. About that time the charity paid for major improvements to the town streets and for the town bridge to be rebuilt in the 1760s and in 1854. (fn. 299) In 1872 the Charity Commission authorized the trustees to spend no more than £50 p.a. on lighting the borough, (fn. 300) and the charity paid £50 p.a. towards the cost of street lighting until 1975. (fn. 301) From 1898 to 1936 the charity maintained the Jubilee clock in High Street. (fn. 302)
From 1896, when Wiltshire County Council and Cricklade and Wootton Bassett Rural District Council became responsible for maintaining the roads, the Waylands charity allowed most of its income to accumulate. Under the Scheme of 1903 the area which should benefit from the charity was defined as the new Cricklade parish, and the trustees were required to pass the charity's income to the two councils; (fn. 303) in 1910 £52 was given to the county and £68 to the district. The money given to the councils was used to lower the rates charged on property in the parish, and in 1974 £818 was given for that purpose. (fn. 304) Under a Scheme of 1976 the charity's entire net income might be spent on any charitable purpose to benefit inhabitants of Cricklade and its neighbourhood. (fn. 305) In 2002–3 it had a gross income of £7,783. (fn. 306)
PUBLIC SERVICES AND UTILITIES
Before the development of county government in the 19th century, public services in Cricklade town and parish were provided by several bodies, Cricklade manor court, the parish vestries, the borough and Wayland's charity.
From the 15th century or earlier Cricklade borough was policed by two constables. By the 18th century the manor court, meeting for the view of frankpledge, appointed one constable for each parish, and also appointed watchmen. (fn. 307) From 1839–40 the town and both parishes were policed by the Wiltshire county force. (fn. 308) In the mid 18th century the court of Little Chelworth manor ordered the erection of stocks. (fn. 309) Stocks stood in Calcutt Street in 1837. (fn. 310) St Sampson's workhouse contained a sealed room, presumably part of the extension built c. 1800; (fn. 311) it may have been what in 1810 was called the borough's blind house, (fn. 312) and the gaol chamber in the 1820s and 1830s. (fn. 313) It was probably in the part of the building which was demolished c. 1840.
A lockup was built in Horsefair Lane, presumably after the parish ceased to control the workhouse in 1835. From 1840 the county force had a police station in the house where the superintendent lived, added to the north side of what is now no. 3 the Priory. This contained no cell and in 1851 the lockup in Horsefair Lane was said to be too weak. (fn. 314) From c. 1850 no. 76 High Street was used as the police station; the lockup was at the north end of High Street behind no. 71. (fn. 315) In the 1880s and 1890s an inspector and four constables were stationed in Cricklade, in the early 20th century an inspector and one constable. (fn. 316)
In 1921–2 a police house incorporating a groundfloor office was built as no. 91 High Street on the site of the tenements called the hospital. (fn. 317) It was lived in by a sergeant in the 1920s and 1930s, when often two constables also lived in the town, (fn. 318) and in the 1940s and 1950s a sergeant and three constables were stationed there. (fn. 319) Since 1962, when the building was altered, the police station has occupied the whole ground floor. (fn. 320)
There was no fire engine at Cricklade in the 18th century, and in 1723 St Sampson's parish paid for a fire to be extinguished by one brought from Cirencester. (fn. 321) In 1858 a fire engine with a hand pump was bought and kept in a building on Bath Road. Both were paid for by subscription, and from then a committee managed a brigade of volunteers. From the 1920s L. O. Hammond's garage business in Calcutt Street provided the volunteers and an engine with a steam-powered pump, which was pulled to fires by horses or a motor vehicle. (fn. 322) In 1936 Cricklade parish council, dissatisfied with the service, arranged for Swindon fire brigade to attend fires in the parish. (fn. 323)
In 1947 Wiltshire County Council became the fire authority for the whole county, (fn. 324) and in 1950 it converted two of the Nissen huts erected in the Second World War at the south end of High Street to a temporary fire station. (fn. 325) That was replaced by a new one built in 1963 in Bath Road. (fn. 326)
Water, Sewerage and Refuse
A piped water supply for the town was installed by the lord of the manor c. 1734. A water engine and a water wheel were set up in the Thames near the town bridge, a cistern was erected in High Street, and pipes were laid to carry river water to the streets and houses. (fn. 327) In 1840 a water engine house, apparently built after 1830, stood 100 m. below the bridge; (fn. 328) a reservoir remained in High Street in 1857. (fn. 329) This supply may have ceased by the late 19th century, when it was said that the town was supplied inadequately with water from rivers and wells. A new system was installed by Cricklade and Wootton Bassett Rural District Council c. 1905, pumping water from gravel beds near the Thames to a reservoir at Windmill Hill. (fn. 330) From c. 1935, water was brought to the town from a deep well at Ashton Keynes, and later the town was supplied with water from boreholes at Latton. (fn. 331)
In 1861 the Wayland's charity laid a drain along the east side of High Street to discharge rainwater from the street to the Thames, and later it laid one along the west side. (fn. 332) Pipes carried sewage from the houses of the town to the Thames through the drains, but the Conservators of the River Thames demanded in 1893 that this should cease. (fn. 333) About 1900 the rural district council built new sewage treatment plants on land at the Forty and at Hatchetts, in Latton parish directly across the Thames from the town. (fn. 334) From 1934 all of the town's sewage was treated at an improved facility at Hatchetts. (fn. 335) A sewage disposal plant built in Leigh parish c. 1943 for RAF Blakehill Farm was bought by the rural district council in 1960–1 to dispose of dried sludge from Hatchetts, which was enlarged in 1965–6 to cope with the needs of the increasing population. (fn. 336)
In 1931 Cricklade and Wootton Bassett Rural District Council began to collect refuse from houses in the town, which was tipped into the disused canal outside the town until the 1970s. (fn. 337)
High Street and Calcutt Street were probably paved by Wayland's charity in the 18th century, (fn. 338) and other streets in the town were paved in the 19th century. (fn. 339) A scavenger to clean the streets was appointed at the manor court's view of frankpledge until the mid 19th century. (fn. 340) Street lamps, paid for by subscription and maintained by the Waylands charity, were erected in 1843, and converted to burn gas c. 1859 when the gasworks was built. (fn. 341) In 1860 St Sampson's parish adopted the Watching and Lighting Act of 1833 and levied a rate for lighting, (fn. 342) and from 1872 the Waylands charity paid £50 a year towards the cost of lighting the town. The gas lamps were replaced by electric light standards erected c. 1929. (fn. 343) The clock erected in High Street to commemorate Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee was maintained by the Waylands charity until 1936, and then by the parish council. In 1914, by order of the rural district council, the houses of each street in the town were numbered. (fn. 344)
A joint burial committee for both parishes was formed c. 1898 and then re-formed as Cricklade Burial Board in 1899 when the civil parishes were united. A cemetery in Bath Road was opened in 1900, a chapel was built in that year, and in 1901 part of the burial ground was consecrated. (fn. 345) The cemetery was placed under the management of the parish council sitting as the burial board, (fn. 346) and is now managed by the town council. (fn. 347)
Post and Telephone
There was a postmaster at Cricklade from 1781 or earlier and a post office from 1830 or earlier. (fn. 348) In 1866 the inhabitants of Chelworth, Braydon, and Leigh unsuccessfully petitioned the Postmaster General for free delivery of letters and for pillar boxes to be provided, but pillar boxes were set up in 1899. (fn. 349) In 1923 the post office was moved from 29 High Street to no. 39, which incorporated the first telephone exchange in the town; the first telephone kiosk was erected c. 1932. (fn. 350) A new telephone exchange was built in Thames Lane and was replaced by a larger one built off the Purton road at the Forty. (fn. 351)
Gas and Electricity
A gasworks was built in Mutton (later Gas) Lane c. 1859; (fn. 352) a new gasholder was built between 1875 and 1898 (fn. 353) and other new buildings were erected c. 1909. (fn. 354) The gasworks belonged to the Cricklade Gas Company, (fn. 355) later to the Bucks. & Oxon. District Gas Company, (fn. 356) and in the 1920s and 1930s to the United District Gas Company. (fn. 357) It was closed by 1949 and was later demolished. (fn. 358) Electricity for the town was supplied by mains and cables laid by the Western Electricity Supply Company between 1929 and 1931. (fn. 359)
Cricklade sent three representatives to the parliament which met in 1275, (fn. 360) two to that which met in 1295, and two to the eight parliaments between 1304 and 1332. It was unrepresented between 1332 and 1362, sent two members to the parliaments of 1362 and 1369 and to nearly all of those which met between 1378 and 1388, was represented occasionally between c. 1390 and c. 1420, and sent two members to nearly all the parliaments between 1421 and 1880. (fn. 361)
The Franchise and Constituency
In 1275 Cricklade was represented as a market town, from 1295 as a borough. (fn. 362) Its burgesses, the freeholders of tenements in the town, were not incorporated either by charter or as members of a guild, and the precept was presumably sent to the bailiff of the lord of the borough. The lord exercised jurisdiction over the borough through courts held nominally for Cricklade hundred, of which the burgesses were suitors and at which constables were appointed, and in 1453 Cricklade's representatives were chosen by the constables and the burgesses. (fn. 363) In the 16th century and later the lord of the manor's bailiff was the returning officer, and the burgesses continued to be the electorate. (fn. 364) The constituency was briefly abolished after the dissolution of the Rump in 1653, but was restored by Richard Cromwell in 1659. (fn. 365)
In 1684, when a contested election may have been expected, the right to vote as a burgess was declared to belong to each of those holding a tenement in the borough freely, by copy, or by a lease for three years or longer. (fn. 366) Such a declaration, by including copyholders and leaseholders, probably attached a vote to nearly every house in the town and thus increased the electorate from c. 70 to c. 130. (fn. 367) This left scope for dispute, for example over whether a man might vote in respect of his wife's right to a tenement, whether the right to vote could be attached to a new house built on a new site, and what the boundary of the borough was, and it left Cricklade an open borough. In the 18th century attempts were made to influence elections by buying Cricklade manor in order to control the returning officer, by buying, and perhaps building, tenements in the town in order to control the voters, and by bribery. A map drawn in 1775 for a candidate in the contested and disputed elections of 1774 and 1775 defined the boundary of the borough as the line of the town's medieval fortifications, but this was successfully challenged. (fn. 368)
After notorious elections in 1774, 1775, and 1780 an Act of 1782 renamed the constituency the borough and hundreds of Cricklade and gave the right to elect its MPs to all 40s.-freeholders in Highworth, Cricklade, Staple, Kingsbridge, and Malmesbury hundreds. (fn. 369) The electorate was thus increased to c. 800, (fn. 370) and of 1,138 votes in an election in 1832 only 78 were cast by men of Cricklade borough. Although the constituency included Swindon, and although its electorate further increased in the 19th century, (fn. 371) its representation was reduced from two to one in 1884, from when it was a division of the county. (fn. 372)
From 1275 to 1547
Those representing Cricklade before the mid 16th century were mainly of three classes: prosperous inhabitants of the town; lawyers and officials; and local landowners. (fn. 373) The prosperous inhabitants possibly included William Dyer, elected in 1362, John Andrew, elected nine times between 1378 and 1388, and Thomas Weston, elected six times between 1369 and 1388; (fn. 374) but the election of such men declined after 1400. The Crown held Cricklade manor from 1289 to 1391 and from 1461 to 1547 and may have procured the election of the lawyers John Whittokesmede in 1472 (fn. 375) and Robert Curzon in 1529. (fn. 376) Other lawyers to be elected included Thomas and Robert Cricklade in the earlier 15th century, John Ludwell in 1423, and George Hoghton in 1450 and 1453. Local landowners or members of their families included John Ferys and Edward Hungerford, both elected in 1467, and Sir Edward and Sir Thomas Hungerford, both elected in 1492. (fn. 377) Robert Andrew, chosen in 1399 for Cricklade and later for the county, was apparently in all three classes. (fn. 378)
From 1547 to 1602
In this period the choosing of Cricklade's MPs by its burgesses was apparently controlled by the owners of Sudeley castle (Glos.). (fn. 379) Thomas Seymour, Lord Seymour of Sudeley (d. 1549), held Cricklade manor from 1547 in the right of his wife Catherine Parr, and from 1557 to 1602 Edmund Bridges, Lord Chandos (d. 1573), and his sons Giles, Lord Chandos (d. 1594), and William, Lord Chandos (d. 1602), were successively the Crown's stewards of the manor. (fn. 380) From 1547 to 1601 nearly all of the members were connected either to Seymour or to the Bridges family. (fn. 381)
From 1602 to 1684
It is likely that the choices made by the burgesses were governed as much by the popularity of the candidates as by the influence the lord of the manor exercised through his bailiff as returning officer. In this period Cricklade's burgesses chose MPs mainly from local landowning and gentry families, including members of the Poole, Hungerford, Howard, Hodges, Dunch, and Webb families. They also included Robert Jenner, elected in 1628 and twice in 1640, (fn. 382) who owned Widhill manor, and Thomas Hodges of Shipton Moyne (Glos.), who owned messuages in the town and whose grandfather had represented the borough in the 16th century. (fn. 383) Both were active in the Commons throughout the 1640s; Hodges was a leading member of the army committee, whilst Jenner's financial contributions proved vital to the cause in the county, and the homes of both MPs were plundered by royalist forces. (fn. 384) Jenner was secluded at Pride's Purge and died in 1651, whilst Hodges withdrew from the Commons until June 1649, and was much less active thereafter. He did not stand for a seat in Richard Cromwell's parliament in January 1659, when Edward Poole of Oaksey and John Hawkins, the son-in-law of Nevill Maskelyne, the lord of the manor, were returned. (fn. 385) Hodges resumed his seat briefly in 1660, when he helped to draft the act summoning the Convention Parliament, and retired to private life after the Restoration. (fn. 386) Nevil Maskelyne was himself elected in 1660. (fn. 387)
From 1684 to 1782
The increase of the electorate in 1684 apparently made available new ways of influencing the results of elections, and it was followed by a period in which influence over the borough was disputed. The Court party politician Sir Stephen Fox (d. 1716) (fn. 388) bought Water Eaton manor in Eisey in 1671, and in 1685, 1689, and 1695 his son Charles was a successful candidate in contested and disputed elections at Cricklade. In 1689 the bailiff was reprimanded by the House of Lords for his clumsy attempts to return a favoured candidate for the second seat, by taking votes only from certain houses and terminating proceedings early because of a fracas. (fn. 389) Similar accusations were made against the bailiff following the election of 1695, but were dismissed by the House of Commons as 'vexatious, frivolous and groundless'. (fn. 390) Sir Stephen Fox was elected in 1699 and twice in 1701, and Edmund Dunch, the owner of a large estate centred on Down Ampney (Glos.), was elected six times between 1701 and 1710. (fn. 391) The Fox family's influence was continued through William Gore, the husband of Sir Stephen's granddaughter, (fn. 392) who was elected in 1713. (fn. 393) The borough gained particular notoriety for corruption during this period, and the returning officer was accused of misconduct and partiality six times in elections between 1721 and 1741; Sir Thomas Read Bt, MP between 1713 and 1747, may have owed his seat to bribery. (fn. 394)
During the eighteenth century, the fortunes of the constituency were closely tied to the ownership of Cricklade manor, which Gore bought in 1718. This marked a turning point in the politics of the borough; from this date, the borough was considered venal, and the lord of the manor or a close relative was elected to serve in eight of the eleven Parliaments that met between 1718 and 1780. (fn. 395) Besides William Gore, who was elected for Cricklade again in 1734, the seat was held by his brother Thomas and his sons Charles and John. (fn. 396) Arnold Nesbitt, elected in 1761, bought the lordship of Cricklade manor in 1763, having already bought several houses to extend his influence in the town; although he failed to keep his seat in 1768, he regained it in 1774. (fn. 397) Paul Benfield, an East India Company nabob of considerable fortune who held Nesbitt's estate from 1780, was elected in that year. Henry Herbert (Lord Porchester from 1780, and earl of Carnarvon from 1793, d. 1811), who bought the estate from Benfield, also successfully influenced two elections. (fn. 398)
From 1761 to 1780 elections were strenuously contested, and Parliament had to intervene repeatedly to settle contentious contests. In 1774 and 1775 elections were declared void because of the partiality and malpractice of the returning officer. (fn. 399) The election of 1780 led to 113 voters being tried at Salisbury assizes for corruption. Samuel Petrie, who was defeated in 1775 and 1780 campaigning as 'the champion of pure elections', responded with litigation alleging bribery. The subsequent lawsuits revealed that payment of the voters was a long-held practice at Cricklade. Herbert's agent, the returning officer and 83 of the accused voters were found guilty of bribery, and the election of Herbert's candidate, James MacPherson, was voided. (fn. 400)
From 1782 to 1885
Petrie, who was injured in a duel with Lord Porchester in 1782, stood for election at Cricklade three times after the constituency and the franchise were extended by the Act of 1782, each time unsuccessfully. (fn. 401) From 1794 to 1831 one seat for the enlarged constituency was occupied by Lord Carnarvon's sons Henry, Lord Porchester, and William Herbert and by Joseph Pitt, to whom in 1815 Lord Porchester (2nd earl of Carnarvon since 1811) sold Cricklade manor and houses in the town. The other seat was contested among local landowners and gentry. (fn. 402) From 1835 to 1859 one of the MPs was John Neeld, whose brother Joseph was a local landowner and from 1842 the lord of Cricklade manor, and six times between 1837 and 1865 the lord of Swindon manor, successively Ambrose Goddard and A. L. Goddard, was the other. Later MPs included, from 1865 to 1885, Sir Daniel Gooch Bt, chairman of the GWR. (fn. 403)
Cricklade was planted on land which was already used for agriculture. Apart from their own tenements, apparently the only land assigned to the burgesses was grassland, north-west of the town and beside the Thames, which came to be called North meadow. The land on which Cricklade was planted was Chelworth's, and it was probably used in common as meadow or pasture from dispersed farmsteads. Although by buying freeholds or entering on copyholds burgesses acquired single parcels, or larger holdings, of Chelworth's land, (fn. 404) very little agricultural land has ever been worked from tenements in the streets of Cricklade. In the earlier 19th century farm buildings may have stood in Calcutt Street beside the Hermitage, (fn. 405) and in the earlier 20th a farmyard adjoined 38 High Street. (fn. 406)
North meadow measures 44 ha. (108 a.). (fn. 407) Although the earliest specific reference to it is 15th-century, (fn. 408) it was almost certainly an early assignment to the burgesses and it is likely that a parcel of the meadow, delineated by stones and held freely, was attached to each burgage plot. North meadow was presumably the commonable pasture which, as the king as lord of the borough claimed in 1343, had belonged to the borough from time out of mind. (fn. 409) The hay from each parcel of the meadow belonged to the owner of the parcel and from Lammas (1 August) the whole meadow was used in common. (fn. 410) The freehold of each parcel was alienable and, presumably as parcels were accumulated by purchase, marriage, or inheritance, the freeholds became fewer and the parcels larger. In 1818 there were 25 owners of plots; (fn. 411) in 1970, when the boundaries of plots were still marked by stones, there were 15 plots and only 10 owners. (fn. 412)
Although the number of freeholders fell, to turn animals into North meadow at Lammas remained or became a right of the occupier of each tenement in the town. In 1672 the lord of Great Chelworth manor, while asserting that it had long ago been decreed by the court of that manor that only those owning land in the meadow had a right to the aftermath, nevertheless acknowledged that inhabitants of the town without land in it did keep cattle there from Lammas to Candlemas (2 February). (fn. 413) In 1721 it was stated that all inhabitants of St Sampson's parish, except Calcutt, and of St Mary's parish were entitled to the feeding; (fn. 414) later the right was restricted to all those holding, and living in, a house in the borough, and could be exercised between Old Lammas (12 August) and Old Candlemas (12 February). (fn. 415)
How the feeding rights in North meadow were regulated before the 19th century is largely obscure. In 1672 the lord of Great Chelworth manor claimed jurisdiction over it by asserting that the hayward chosen in the court of his manor might keep a mare and a colt in the meadow from Candlemas to Lammas. (fn. 416) In 1721 a parcel of the meadow called reeve lake was held in turn by the reeve in office each year; the office had been attached to 13 holdings of land. (fn. 417) From 1815 a hayward was appointed by the view of the lord of the borough; he was to mark each animal entering the meadow, take a small sum of money for doing so, keep half the money for himself, and spend the rest on maintaining the gates of the meadow. (fn. 418) Between 1899 and 1919 the council of the new parish managed the meadow; (fn. 419) since then the lord of Cricklade manor has appointed the hayward. (fn. 420)
The common pasture was apparently for horses and cattle until c. 1700, when sheep were introduced. The animals were unstinted in 1721 and the sheep entered the meadow a month after the cattle. In 1844 the owners of the parcels of meadow were forbidden to flood them between 12 August and 12 February, and the commoners were forbidden to ride or exercise horses, or keep more than 10 cattle and 30 sheep, in the meadow; in 1851 it was ordered that no animal with a contagious disease might be buried there. (fn. 421) A new drain was laid across the meadow c. 1816. (fn. 422)
Snakeshead fritillaries were collected in North meadow in the earlier 20th century, some for sale in Swindon; (fn. 423) in 1931 a Cricklade householder was successfully prosecuted for picking them, (fn. 424) and in the later 20th century the meadow was notable for their survival. The Nature Conservation Council bought land in the meadow in 1970, and in 1973 declared North meadow a National Nature Reserve. By 1988 the council had bought nearly all the meadow. (fn. 425) In the early 21st century, the meadow was open to the public and was owned and managed by English Nature. (fn. 426)
TRADE AND INDUSTRY
The town was home to a prosperous community of merchants in the early and high Middle Ages. (fn. 427) Thereafter trade apparently declined. In the 16th and 17th centuries the town's merchants traded in local agricultural commodities, (fn. 428) engrossing, cattle dealing and buying wool. (fn. 429)
Markets and Fairs
In 1275 Cricklade was represented in parliament as a market town (villa mercatoria); (fn. 430) presumably a market had long been held there, and the market place was probably where a 14th-century cross stood in the High Street. In the mid-15th century tolls of a Saturday market were apparently worth very little to the lord of Cricklade manor, (fn. 431) and in the late 15th century and earlier 16th they were worth nothing. (fn. 432) Trading in the market may have continued free of tolls, or the market may have died out. In an ambiguous statement in 1646, the inhabitants of Cricklade claimed that the Civil War and recent plague had deprived them of all markets and commerce. (fn. 433)
A weekly Saturday market was granted to the lord of Cricklade manor in 1663. The grant gave the men of Cricklade freedom from stallage, piccage (a tax on booths), and tolls, (fn. 434) and in the 1660s Cricklade was again described as a market town. (fn. 435) The market was held in High Street, (fn. 436) apparently in the middle between the junctions with Mutton Lane and Calcutt Street (fn. 437) where a market house was erected probably c. 1663. The market had dwindled by the early 19th century, when the market house was demolished and the cross was moved from High Street, and in 1830 it was said to have fallen almost into disuse. (fn. 438)
In 1837 a market committee revived Cricklade's market as a toll-free cattle and corn market held in High Street on the third Tuesday of each month. (fn. 439) A weighing machine, evidently for weighing bark used for tanning leather, was constructed at the south end of High Street in 1850, (fn. 440) and a small cheese market was held in the 1850s. A new weighbridge had been installed in the old weighbridge house by 1893. In the early 20th century a sale ring and pens were erected outside the White Hart on market days when animals were traded; in the 12 markets of one typical year 1,000 cattle, 600 calves, 990 sheep and lambs, and 500 pigs were bought and sold. (fn. 441) In 1944 the market was held in the station yard, and from 1945 again in High Street. The last was held in 1953. (fn. 442)
A three-day fair at Cricklade, to be held yearly at the feast of St Matthew (21 September), was granted in 1257 to the lord of Cricklade manor. (fn. 443) There was a fair on St Matthew's day in the mid 15th century, (fn. 444) and one at Michaelmas (29 September) in the late 15th and early 16th centuries. (fn. 445) Like the tolls of the market, the tolls of the fair were of no value to the lord of Cricklade manor in 1547, (fn. 446) and it is not clear whether fairs were then being held.
Four yearly fairs at Cricklade, on St Matthew's day and on the third Tuesdays of April, July, and November, were granted to the lord of Cricklade manor in 1663. Inhabitants of Cricklade were given the same freedoms as those accorded to them at the new market. (fn. 447) Fairs were presumably held in High Street, and there is no more than its name to suggest that Horsefair Lane was a fairground. In the late 18th century fairs may have been held in April, July, August, and September. (fn. 448) They may already have been in decline and, although there may have been a hiring fair in the early 19th century, (fn. 449) in the early 1830s the only fair at Cricklade was a small one held in September for pleasure. (fn. 450) In 1837 the market committee attempted to combine a fair with the revived market held on the third Tuesdays of March, April, August, and October. The attempt failed, and from the 1840s until it ceased in the 1890s the September pleasure fair remained the only one. (fn. 451)
Port mill, which belonged to the estate later called Abingdon Court manor, was standing in 1198. It was the water mill presumably standing at the north end of High Street on the Thames. It was still in use c. 1530, (fn. 452) but had become disused by 1680 and was later demolished. (fn. 453)
Woollen cloth may have been made at Cricklade in the late 13th century and earlier 14th, when surnames suggest that weavers, fullers, dyers, bleachers, and cutters lived there. (fn. 454) There were four weavers in the town c. 1378, (fn. 455) but there is no evidence of cloth making there later in the Middle Ages. There was a felt maker there in the 1680s. (fn. 456)
Gloving and leather trades
Gloves were made at Cricklade from the 14th century or earlier to the 20th century. There were six glovers in the town c. 1378; (fn. 457) members of the Burge family were glovers in 1590 and 1649, (fn. 458) Anthony Ellis in the 1680s, (fn. 459) William Robbins in 1729 and 1762, (fn. 460) and William Ellis, William James, and William Fry in the 1790s. (fn. 461) John Boulton, members of whose family were later glovers at Westbury Leigh, made breeches and gloves at Cricklade in the mid 19th century. (fn. 462) Boulton may have employed some of the 83 women who sewed gloves in their homes in Cricklade and nearby parishes in 1861. (fn. 463)
At the north end of the town, premises on the site of St John's hospital were conveyed to a fellmonger in 1654, (fn. 464) and there was a fellmonger's yard there until the 1860s or later. (fn. 465) Nearby there was a tannery, owned by William Buckland in 1818 and 1830, and Thomas Buckland in 1840; (fn. 466) it went out of use apparently c. 1840. (fn. 467) Richard Ockwell (d. 1909) was working as a glover in Cricklade in 1867, and it was probably he who c. 1870 built a new tannery near the fellmonger's yard, incorporating a building formerly used for Methodist meetings. Ockwell made gloves and gaiters from sheepskin, and in the late 19th century he ceased work as a tanner and moved his business to 93 High Street; his sons Charles and Abijah were both glovers. (fn. 468)
Charles Ockwell (d. 1912) worked from no. 93 High Street. His business passed to his son-in-law W. J. Little and grandson M. J. Little, who produced industrial, harvest, and fleece-lined gloves as Charles Ockwell & Company. Between the two World Wars the Littles transformed their glove making from a cottage industry, in which leather cut in a workshop was sent out to be sewn by women in their own homes, to a factory one using mass production techniques. In 1933 the company moved to the old town hall, thereafter called the Alkerton Works, where electrically powered sewing machines were installed. In 1956 there were 60 people working in the factory and 25 outworkers. The company continued to make heavy-duty gloves in the old town hall until 1994. (fn. 469)
Abijah Ockwell (d. 1935), who also made heavy-duty gloves, worked from nos 54–5 High Street. His business, A. A. Ockwell & Son, remained a cottage industry and was closed in 1951. (fn. 470)
Until the 20th century Cricklade was a centre for trades and industries to supply local needs. In 1280–1 there were three smithies in High Street; (fn. 471) there were three blacksmiths in the town c. 1792 and four in 1818 and 1830. (fn. 472) In the late 19th century there were two smithies, one in Calcutt Street, which was rebuilt in 1909 and remained open in the 1930s, and one in High Street, which closed in 1928. (fn. 473) In the mid 20th century there was also a smithy at the Forty. (fn. 474) In 1840 there was an iron foundry at the north end of the town, east of High Street, and possibly deriving power from the water of the Thames. (fn. 475) In the mid 20th century there was a forge in Horsefair Lane. (fn. 476) Two men worked as braziers and tin-men in 1830; one in 1842 (fn. 477) worked until c. 1870; there was a whitesmith at the Forty from the 1850s to the 1880s. (fn. 478) In the 1960s part of the old gasworks in Gas Lane was occupied by a tinsmith preparing sheet metal. (fn. 479) There was a gunsmith in the town in 1731. (fn. 480)
There were shoemakers in Cricklade from the 15th century or earlier; (fn. 481) in the 1790s there were nine and in 1818 seven, but by 1903 there were just three. (fn. 482) Collars were made at Cricklade in the 18th century, saddlery and harnesses from then until the 20th century. There were two harness makers in 1939. (fn. 483)
There was a cooper at Cricklade c. 1378. (fn. 484) John and Stephen Hopkins were coopers c. 1792, there were two coopers in 1818 and 1842, (fn. 485) and in 1840 a cooper's shop stood in High Street. (fn. 486) Another John Hopkins remained a cooper in High Street until c. 1870. (fn. 487) Wheelwrights worked in the town from the late 18th to the mid 20th century. (fn. 488) In the mid 20th century a cabinet making and upholstery business was carried on in premises behind the Vale Hotel in High Street; from c. 1958 a firm of cabinet makers worked in buildings at the Forty, (fn. 489) and in 2003 Glen-Pac Ltd., case makers and woodworkers, was in business there.
Watches and clocks were made in the town from the 18th to the 20th century. The makers included Christopher Maisey in 1830 and 1842 and Harry Samuel in 1903. There were several chandlers at Cricklade in the 18th century, (fn. 490) three in 1818, (fn. 491) two in 1842, (fn. 492) and one in the 1850s. (fn. 493) Other goods which were manufactured at Cricklade include wigs and straw hats. (fn. 494)Victualling
Cricklade was a source of victuals through its markets and retail shops for a local population and through its inns and public houses for travellers. Its importance as such a source had been established by the 14th century and was lost in the later 20th century.
There were three bakers c. 1378, (fn. 495) eight c. 1792. Bakers in the town worked throughout the 19th century, (fn. 496) and in 1929 there were two bakehouses in High Street, one in Calcutt Street, and one in Horsefair Lane. (fn. 497) Baking in the town ceased in the later 20th century. (fn. 498)
There were nine butchers c. 1378. (fn. 499) A shambles in the town was referred to in 1442–3 (fn. 500) and there were three or more butchers in 1620 (fn. 501) and three in the earlier 19th century. (fn. 502) A slaughterhouse had been built in High Street by 1857, (fn. 503) which remained open in the 1960s, and there was a second one there in the earlier 20th century. (fn. 504) There are still butchers in High Street.
There were 11 brewers c. 1378, (fn. 505) and it is likely that ale and beer were brewed in many of the inns and alehouses at Cricklade. There were maltsters in the town in the late 17th and early 18th century, (fn. 506) and there was a malthouse at the Swan in 1799. (fn. 507) There were two maltsters in 1818, three in 1830, and there was a malthouse at the south end of High Street during the 19th century. (fn. 508) No maltster or brewer is known to have worked in Cricklade after 1867. (fn. 509)Other Trades
A retail and engineering business in High Street was started by L. O. Hammond c. 1911; a commercial garage opened in Calcutt Street c. 1921 on an adjoining site, and the two businesses merged in the 1920s. Under Hammond's direction the new business expanded and diversified and in the 1930s had a workforce of c. 25. (fn. 512) In the later 20th century the Cricklade Motor Company sold cars from a showroom in Calcutt Street; there are workshops in Bath Road where motor vehicles are repaired commercially. In the 1920s and 1930s premises at the Forty were used for repairing agricultural machinery, later by the Air Ministry for repairing motor vehicles. (fn. 513)
There was an attorney in Cricklade c. 1792, another in 1830, and two in 1842. (fn. 514) Firms of solicitors had offices in the town during the 19th century, (fn. 515) but none remain. There was a scrivener in 1802. (fn. 516) The names of medical practitioners are known from the early 18th century.Retail and Banks
Shops at Cricklade mentioned in 1310 and 1504 may have been for retail. (fn. 517) There were seven shopkeepers in the town c. 1792; the grocers, druggists, and ironmonger in business there in the earlier 19th century probably had shops, (fn. 518) and trading from shops rather than from market stalls clearly increased in the 19th century. There were c. 40 retails shops in the town c. 1900 and still c. 40 in 1955; most were in High Street and a few were in Calcutt Street. (fn. 519) In 2003 there were c. 15 shops in High Street and one in Calcutt Street. Possibly from c. 1790 coal was delivered from Cricklade wharf on the Thames & Severn canal, and possibly from c. 1820 also from Chelworth wharf on the North Wilts. canal; there was a coal dealer at each wharf in 1830. (fn. 520) Coal was delivered from a yard at Cricklade station from 1883; (fn. 521) when the railway line was closed in 1963 there were two coal wharfs at the station. (fn. 522) From 1964 coal was delivered from coalyards at Chelworth.
Cricklade was unusual among Wiltshire towns in having no bank earlier than 1875. Between 1875 and 1880 an agency of the Gloucestershire Banking Company was opened in the post office; by 1889 it had been replaced by an agency of the Capital & Counties Bank. Between 1903 and 1907 Lloyds Bank opened a branch in the town and in 1918 took over the Capital & Counties Bank. A branch of Barclays Bank was open from c. 1925 to 1940 as was a branch of the Midland Bank for a short period between the World Wars. (fn. 523) A branch of Lloyds TSB was open in 2003.
There were a number of organisations which assisted with the welfare of townspeople and parishioners.
Hospitals and Medical Practitioners
St John's hospital, built on the north edge of the town probably in the 1220s, was inhabited by old or infirm priests and gave rest and refreshment to poor travellers. (fn. 524) In 1668 St Mary's parish, and probably St Sampson's, had no hospital, physician, surgeon, or midwife. (fn. 525) Two members of the Pitt family practised as surgeons in the town between 1711 and 1772, (fn. 526) and in 1715 a pauper was treated by a Dr Kinneir, possibly William Kinneir, a medical practitioner in 1738. (fn. 527) Four other Kinneirs were apothecaries or surgeons in the town from the mid-18th to the later 19th century. Williams Wells was a surgeon in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, and W. G. Wells was a physician in the mid 19th. (fn. 528) The Kinneirs and W. G. Wells also owned land at Chelworth. There were three surgeons in the town in 1830, four surgeons and a physician in 1842. (fn. 529) From the mid 19th century doctors practised in the town. (fn. 530) One of them, T. R. Thomson (d. 1981) was the author of several articles on the history of Cricklade. (fn. 531) A doctors' surgery was built behind no. 38 High Street in the late 20th century, and in 2003 there was another in the old town hall.
From the 1630s the poor of St Sampson's and St Mary's parishes received both parochial and charitable relief. Some parochial relief may have been immediate and compassionate: in the 1670s, for example, the churchwardens of St Sampson's gave money to a lame woman who had pawned her clothes and to people described as seamen and Irish women. (fn. 532) Most, however, was given by the overseers systematically as the laws on poor relief, bastardy, and settlement were obeyed. (fn. 533)
Indoor relief was provided in the workhouse of St Sampson's parish from c. 1727 to 1835. (fn. 534) Most relief in St Sampson's, and all that in St Mary's, was outdoor, given in the form of regular doles or ad hoc payments. (fn. 535) In St Sampson's regular doles were given from the later 17th century or earlier, and from 1707 recipients were required to wear a badge. In 1759 weekly doles were given to 25 persons, in 1798 to 42, and in 1805–6 to 50. (fn. 536) In 1819, when the minister of St Sampson's church was chairman of the vestry, the overseers were authorized to withhold relief from paupers found tippling in public houses, especially on Sundays; (fn. 537) in 1834, at the suggestion of the Poor Law Commission, able-bodied paupers were paid half in money and half in bread. (fn. 538) Periodically, especially in the earlier 19th century, the parish attempted to find work for paupers. The parish also paid for boys and girls to be apprenticed, and in 1759 a woman was threatened with expulsion from the workhouse if she refused to allow her son to be apprenticed. (fn. 539) St Sampson's parish provided some housing for the impotent poor, and it made numerous ad hoc payments to provide necessities unaffordable for the poor. It paid rents and from the earlier 18th century to 1835 paid for medical treatment, bedding, shoes and clothes, fuel, and funerals. Far more was spent in paying rents and supplying necessities than on weekly pay, accommodation in the workhouse, or in charitable relief. (fn. 540)
Most of the charitable relief was intended to help the poor to prosper by providing a stock to wear or paying for apprenticeships. Increasingly it did no more than to provide small and occasional gifts to those not receiving parochial relief and therefore did little to alleviate poverty. About 1834 over £2,000 a year was spent on parochial relief in the two parishes and c. £200 on charitable relief; of the charitable relief c. £20 was spent on apprenticing, c. £160 was given in cash to c. 200 of the second poor, and c. £20 was spent on clothing and bread for the first and second poor. Later in the 19th century new eleemosynary charities provided bedding and small sums of money once a year for many applicants, and in the early 20th century the Charity Commission commented that the income of all the charities was distributed indiscriminately and recipients included many who were not in need. (fn. 541)
Emigration to America by a number of parishioners was paid for by the overseers of St Sampson's parish in 1829. (fn. 542) The parish paid for a man to emigrate in 1834, and in 1836, when five families and three single men applied for help to emigrate to America, it paid for four of the families. (fn. 543) In 1848 help was given to a man to emigrate to the Cape of Good Hope and other emigrants were also assisted. (fn. 544)
Allotments for the poor were laid out on lands belonging to the Hundred Acres charity. In 1830 St Sampson's vestry resolved to ask the trustees if they would convert part of their 104 a. to tillage for the benefit of the poor, a request which was apparently rejected. (fn. 545) However, the vestry was successful in 1842, and 78 a. had been converted to allotments by 1846. The vestry hoped these would provide food and keep the unemployed out of the workhouse. (fn. 546) The letting of the allotments by the trustees was not in itself charitable. In 1869, when apparently the whole 104 a. was let, at £2 an acre the rent for the allotments was double that for farmland. In 1879 the allotment holders petitioned for a reduction after their potato crops had been blighted, and from 1881 the rent for allotment land was 30s. an acre. (fn. 547)
The 104 a. given to benefit the poor of Cricklade and Chelworth lay close to houses and cottages in Leigh, where most of the allotment holders lived in the 1880s. Other allotments were also kept by people of Cricklade, but by the 1880s they had reverted to farmland. Because no allotments were provided voluntarily by any landowner, to comply with the Allotments Act of 1887 Cricklade and Wootton Bassett rural sanitary authority contracted to buy land for conversion to allotments for the town. The Act, however, required that the authority should incur no cost to the ratepayer, and the resulting estimate for the rent of the allotments was so high that it dramatically reduced demand for them and the authority withdrew from the contract. (fn. 548)
The allotments which were part of the 104 a. remained in demand until the First World War. In 1905 there were 235 allotments and, although there were only 62 tenants, most were probably cultivated. (fn. 549) Demand had fallen by the late 1920s, 52 a. of allotment land was leased to a farmer in 1929, (fn. 550) and by 1937, when there were only 18 tenants and holdings ranged between 4½ a. and ¼ a., some allotments had grown almost to smallholdings. In 1938 the trustees of the Hundred Acres charity allowed 6 a. of the allotment land to be fenced off, and in 1939 there were 28 tenants cultivating 19 a. of allotments. (fn. 551) The cultivation of the allotments was brought to an end by the Second World War. In 1943 the Air Ministry requisitioned the land for the airfield of RAF Blakehill Farm, and at the end of the war only 4½–7 a. lay as allotments. In 1945 the tenants were given notice to quit so that the land could be sold. (fn. 552)
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, there were additional garden allotments near the houses and cottages in Leigh, c. 38 a. in 1898 and 63 a. in 1910. They were apparently not cultivated after the 1920s.
Cricklade's poor were targeted by many charities, which between 1906 and 1921 were consolidated under trustees. The history of Wayland's charity, whose purpose was to maintain highways, is discussed elsewhere. (fn. 553)
When the king disafforested Braydon forest in c. 1630, c. 100 a. of land was allotted to the poor of Cricklade and Chelworth in lieu of common rights. (fn. 554) This land lay north-east of Slyfield (later Leighfield) Lodge, (fn. 555) and was held in trust by the bailiff of Cricklade, two constables of the borough, and the churchwardens and overseers of St Sampson's and St Mary's parishes. The terms of the trust provided that half the profit from the land was to be divided equally between eight poor and industrious men or women as a stock to promote their prosperity, eight new recipients to be chosen each year; a quarter was to be used to bind boys and girls as apprentices; a quarter was to be given once a year in small cash doles to old and impotent men and women. (fn. 556) In 1670 Crown commissioners reported that the charity prevented the number of paupers and the poor rate from rising. (fn. 557) In 1785 eight people were each given £1 15s. 10d. as a stock, three children were apprenticed, and £6 8s. 4d. was distributed to paupers. (fn. 558) In 1834 the charity had 104 a. leased for £104, and c. £80 was given as doles to the second poor, two thirds of it to 90 parishioners of St Sampson's and a third to 26 parishioners of St Mary's; by then giving of money as a stock had ceased and it had long been the practice to set aside £15 a year for apprenticeships. (fn. 559) In the mid 19th century the money to be given as doles was divided between the parishes, each of which chose how to distribute it: in 1860 St Mary's gave from £1 10s. to 10s. to 21 people. From 1865 the body of trustees chose all the recipients itself. (fn. 560)
From the 1840s, at the suggestion of the vestry of St Sampson's, the trustees leased 78 a. as garden allotments. (fn. 561) A rent collector was appointed and the rent charged was higher than that for agricultural land. As a result the charity's income rose; it was £180 in 1869, when £36 was spent on apprenticeships and £91 was given in sums of £1 2s. to 3s. to 173 of the second poor of St Sampson's, £12 in sums of 17s. to 9s. to 24 of the impotent poor of St Sampson's, and £10 in sums of 15s. to 2s. 6d. to 20 of the second or impotent poor of St Mary's. (fn. 562)
From 1880, by order of the Charity Commissioners, the incumbent, churchwardens, and overseers of each parish, and the high bailiff of the borough, were the trustees of the Hundred Acres charity; they were also trustees of Dunch's, Hungerfords', and Farmor's charities. From 1895 to 1905, when the Commissioners ruled against the practice in respect of the parish formed in 1899, additional trustees were appointed by the parish councils. (fn. 563)
From 1881, when the rent for allotments was reduced, the charity's income was lower; it was £139 in 1888, when £27 was set aside for apprenticeships, £73 was given in sums of £1 to 2s. 6d. to 180 of the second poor of St Sampson's, 18s. in two payments of 9s. to impotent paupers of St Sampson's, and £6 14s. in sums of 13s. to 5s. to 17 of the second poor of St Mary's. (fn. 564) Between 1901 and 1904 five apprenticeships were paid for at a total cost of £80, and in 1904 the rest of the charity's net income of c. £120 was given away in doles of 5s. to 1s. to 234 applicants. In 1905 the Charity Commissioners reported that many of those who received doles were not so poor as to need them, and that, in respect of half the charity's income, the trust of 1634 was not being observed. (fn. 565) Under Schemes of 1906 and 1908 the Hundred Acres was one of nine charities managed as Cricklade United Charities. (fn. 566)
This charity was set up in 1642 when Sir Anthony Hungerford and his wife Jane gave an 8-a. close at Bentham in Purton to trustees. The trustees were to give the income from the land to the overseers of St Sampson's and St Mary's parishes who, once a year, were to buy 14 overcoats, set the Hungerfords' initials in red cloth on the left sleeve of each coat, and give the coats to the 14 most deserving among the poor, aged, and impotent of each parish. None was to be given a coat in consecutive years. About 1817 c. 2 a. was sold to the North Wilts. Canal Company; the proceeds of the sale and of a sale of timber were used to erect beasts' stalls on the remaining land. In 1834 the land was leased for £16 10s., of which St Mary's parish received a third and St Sampson's two thirds; the number of coats given away depended on the price of cloth. (fn. 567) In the mid 19th century St Mary's received between £4 and £10 a year; it gave three coats and two cloaks in 1842, three of each in 1864. (fn. 568) The share of the income received by St Mary's was afterwards reduced; 11 cloaks and nine coats were given in St Sampson's in 1869, only one coat in St Mary's. From 1880, when 14 coats and seven cloaks were given away, the Hungerfords' charity was managed by the same trustees as the Hundred Acres charity and other charities. Its income in 1906 was £16, 10 coats and four cloaks were given, and the garments were not marked with the prescribed letters. (fn. 569) Under the Schemes of 1906 and 1908 the Hungerfords' was managed as one of the Cricklade United Charities. (fn. 570)
This charity was set up according to the will of Hungerford Dunch (d. 1680), M.P. for Cricklade 1660 and 1679–80, who left £200 to the poor of St Sampson's and St Mary's parishes. 10 a. was bought at Chelworth and Calcutt and in 1685 conveyed to trustees. The profits were to be distributed by the overseers and churchwardens of each parish in equal portions to eight of the second poor. None was to benefit in consecutive years. (fn. 571) About 1786 the charity's income was £6 a year. (fn. 572) About 1817 c. ½ a. was sold to the North Wilts. Canal Company and part of the proceeds used to build beasts' stalls on the remaining land. In 1834 the income was £29 15s., which was distributed in doles to the second poor. (fn. 573) Between 1842 and 1865 St Mary's received between £9 and £16 p.a., a third of the rent; in 1842 it gave four doles of £3, 15 averaging 12s. in 1852, and 19, mostly of £1, in 1862. (fn. 574) In 1869 St Sampson's received £52 of the charity's income of £57 and gave it away in sums of 20s. 6d. to 15s. to 135 of the second poor; the £5 of St Mary's was shared among 15. (fn. 575) From 1880 the charity was managed by the same trustees as the Hundred Acres and other charities. The injunction to give doles to no more than eight was still being disregarded in 1904, when £28 9s. 6d. was given in small doles at Christmas to 200 recipients from the second poor of Cricklade. (fn. 576) Under the Schemes of 1906 and 1908 Dunch's was managed as one of the Cricklade United Charities. (fn. 577)
This charity was set up according to the will of Elizabeth Farmor (d. 1705), who left £1,000 for charitable uses. Following a decree of the Master of the Rolls in 1717 a small farm (later called Pry farm) in Purton was bought, and from 1722 half the income from the farm was distributed to the second poor of Cricklade. From the 1720s the trustees gave away sums of £1, from 1775 sums of 10s.; 2s. 6d. or 5s. was given to 130 people in 1816. In 1801 the farm was of c. 44 a., and c. 1817 land was sold to the North Wilts. Canal Company for £126 and the money used to repair the farmhouse and build new stables. Cricklade's share of the charity's income was £69 in 1827, £40 in 1834. In 1833 £43 10s. was given in sums of 10s. or 15s., mostly to the second poor receiving benefit from no other charity, and in 1868 £49 was given away. From 1880 the charity was managed by the same trustees as the Hundred Acres and other charities. (fn. 578) In 1897, when its income was £46, sums of 14s.–1s. were given to 117 of the second poor. (fn. 579) In 1904, when benefit was restricted to the second poor living in the town or borough, and when most recipients were also beneficiaries of the Hundred Acres and Dunch's charities, doles of 20s.–1s. were given to 122. (fn. 580) Under the Schemes of 1906 and 1908 Farmor's was managed as one of the Cricklade United Charities. (fn. 581)
This charity was set up by the will of Elizabeth Hodges (d. 1724), who left a rent charge of £5 a year to poor housekeepers of Cricklade not in receipt of other alms. From 1820 pensions of 10s. were paid to 10 of the second poor, seven of St Sampson's parish and three of St Mary's. The beneficiaries were widows, old, or infirm, benefit was for life, and pensions were still given in the early 20th century. Under the Schemes of 1906 and 1908 Hodges's was managed as one of the Cricklade United Charities. (fn. 582)
This charity was set up by the will of Jonathan White (d. 1791), who left 1 a. at Purton to trustees who, once a year, were to give the profit of it to the churchwardens of St Sampson's to buy bread for old and poor people of that parish. The charity's income was £3 in 1834, £4 in 1868, (fn. 583) and £4 in 1879, when a loaf was given to each of 173 families. Loaves were given at Christmas and, in the later 19th century, usually at the boys' school near St Sampson's church. (fn. 584) In 1906, when the income was £3 10s., 136 loaves were given away; widows and large families received a large loaf, others a small one. (fn. 585) Under the Schemes of 1906 and 1908 the charity was managed by the trustees of the Cricklade United Charities and gifts of bread ceased. (fn. 586)
This charity was set up in 1863 when Henry Smyth (d. 1867) gave £600 to St Sampson's parish, and £400 to St Mary's, in trust for blankets, sheets, bedding, and warm clothing to be given to poor parishioners each November, and by will proved 1867 he doubled those sums. Gifts included blankets, pairs of sheets, (fn. 587) petticoats, bed ticks, gowns, calico, frocks, and shirts. (fn. 588) Gifts might be made to individuals whether or not they received poor relief, and in 1887 St Sampson's resolved that those qualified and in need should receive a gift every other year. (fn. 589) In 1901 St Sampson's received £36 and made gifts to 103 people; St Mary's received £23 and made gifts to 65. (fn. 590) Under the Schemes of 1906 and 1908 Smyth's charities were managed by the trustees of the Cricklade United Charities. (fn. 591)
This charity was set up by the will of William King (d. 1897), who gave 2 a. to provide an income for cash gifts to be given to the first and second poor of St Sampson's and St Mary's parishes. Under Schemes of 1899 the land was sold, £678 was invested, and the trustees of the Hundred Acres and other charities were appointed as the charity's trustees. (fn. 592) Doles were given on Christmas eve. (fn. 593) In 1901 £22 was distributed in sums of 11s. 6d. to 6d. to c. 175 people, (fn. 594) in 1906 £16 in sums of 7s. 6d. to 6d. to 163. Under the Schemes of 1906 and 1908 King's charity was managed by the trustees of the Cricklade United Charities. (fn. 595)
This charity distributed funds from the estates of Martha Pleydell (d. 1727) and Elizabeth Pleydell (d. 1737). Each were said to have given £1 a year to the poor of St Sampson's parish; (fn. 596) by her will Martha gave £20 for the purchase of land. (fn. 597) It is unlikely that land was bought, no charitable gift is recorded, and in 1905 the charities were considered lost. (fn. 598)
Cricklade United Charities
By the early 20th the trustees of all nine Cricklade charities for the poor gave small sums of money or goods of low value to many recipients, notwithstanding the intentions of the founders. The trustees advertised forthcoming distribution and invited applications for benefit. (fn. 599) In 1895 the trustees of the Hungerfords' and Dunch's charities paid for a police officer to keep order when applications were made, (fn. 600) and in 1908 the trustees of Smyth's charity for St Mary's parish paid for one to attend the distribution of bedding. (fn. 601) In 1904 over £230 was spent on 1,061 doles, including loaves of bread, in the two parishes, the population of which was c. 1,520; 112 doles were of 10s. or more, 296 of 5s.–10s., and 663 of 5s. or less, and many people received gifts from more than one charity. In 1905 the Charity Commissioners declared that a Scheme was needed to end indiscriminate distribution, (fn. 602) and in 1906 and 1908 such Schemes came into force. (fn. 603) Under the two Schemes the Hundred Acres, the Hungerfords', Dunch's, Farmor's, and Hodges's charities were consolidated under a single board of trustees and with a single fund, and the objects of the charities were redefined and unified. (fn. 604) White's charity was added to the consolidated charities in 1921, although it had given up distributing bread under the 1908 Scheme. (fn. 605)
At first the income of the consolidated charities arose mainly from land. In 1910 it was c. £300, in 1920 c. £350, in 1934 c. £250. (fn. 606) Pry farm (the endowment of Farmor's charity) and c. 6 a. at Purton Stoke (the endowment of the Hungerfords' charity) were sold in 1938–9. (fn. 607) In the 1920s most of the allotment land of the Hundred Acres charity was converted back to farmland (fn. 608) and in 1943 all the charity's 104 a. was requisitioned by the Air Ministry; 96 a. was sold to the ministry in 1946 and the rest was sold in 1948. The net proceeds of the sales were invested, (fn. 609) and the income of the charities was c. £304 in 1953, c. £490 in 1970, and £1,743 in 1987. (fn. 610)
From 1909 £30 a year was set aside as an apprenticeship fund, pensions of 5s. a week were paid to eight old people, coal was distributed, and ad hoc payments were made for food, medical treatment, and items such as spectacles and coffins. Besides the £104 spent on pensions, in 1920 £58 was spent on groceries and £26 to meet medical needs, in 1934 £52 was spent on groceries and £2 10s. on nursing, and in 1944 £10 was spent on coal and £2 to meet medical needs. In 1955 £150 of the apprenticeship fund was invested, and from 1956 the trustees were authorized to buy tools for young people. About 1950 pensions were increased to 7s. 6d. a week, and in 1970 £190 was given to eight pensioners and £10 was spent on apprenticing. In 1979 there were 17 pensioners each receiving 50p a week, (fn. 611) and in the 1980s pensions were still being paid (fn. 612) and tools still being given to young people. Coal and groceries were still given in the 1950s, coal in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1945 £30 was given to the Cricklade and Latton Nursing Association and in 1986 £350 was spent on bus tokens for old people. (fn. 613)
From 1908, when distribution of bread ceased, to 1921, when the charity was consolidated, the trustees of the united charities used the income from White's, c. £3, to make occasional payments to hospitals, apparently for medical equipment or services for parishioners of Cricklade. (fn. 614)
Until the late 20th century the income from Smyth's charities remained c. £31 for St Sampson's and c. £21 for St Mary's. (fn. 615) The trustees of the united charities used it to continue gifts of bedding and clothing in both parishes until 1938. In 1927 bedding worth £29 was given to 65 parishioners of St Sampson's, bedding worth £20 to 43 of St Mary's; in 1938 there were 116 recipients in all. From 1939 clothing vouchers worth 8s. 6d. or 10s. were given; there were 109 recipients in 1948. (fn. 616) The two charities were merged c. 1956, and thereafter the vouchers distributed were fewer and of higher value. In 1970 34s.-vouchers were given to 35 and a 30s.-voucher to one; in 1987 vouchers worth £190 were given. (fn. 617)
The income of King's charity was £16 4s. 8d., and from it the trustees of the united charities continued the distribution of small cash doles. In 1922 payments of 13s.–1s. were made to 145 of the first and second poor, from 1935 widows and those in special need were given 5s. each and married couples were given 1s. and 3d. for each child, and in 1948 there were 140 beneficiaries. (fn. 618) In the 1960s and 1970s doles were of c. 10s., and in 1979 £72 was shared among nine recipients. In 1987 grocery vouchers worth £315 were given away. (fn. 619)
The Schemes of 1906 and 1908 governed the nine charities until 1994, when a new Scheme came into force. Under this the consolidated charity was renamed Cricklade United Charity, Smyth's and King's charities were added to it, and its object became the general relief of need in Cricklade parish. In 1995 the charity sold 6½ a. at Calcutt (part of Dunch's endowment), and in 2003 it retained 3½ a. at Chelworth (the rest of Dunch's endowment), 6 a. at Bentham (the Hungerfords' endowment), and 1 a. at Purton (White's endowment). Under the Scheme the keeping of an apprenticeship fund and the giving of vouchers for clothing or groceries ceased, and in 2005 only one pension, of £40 a year, was being paid. In 2009 Cricklade United Charity had an income of £4,157 and spent £4,219. (fn. 620)
Inns and Public Houses
Cricklade, a market town on a main road, has had many inns. In 1620 there were apparently three inns, a tavern, and three alehouses, (fn. 621) and in 1686 the inns provided 68 beds and stabling for 85 horses. (fn. 622) Most of the inns stood in High Street. There were some seven inns or taverns there c. 1840 and in 1925, (fn. 623) and five remain open.
The principal inn has long been the White Hart on High Street. (fn. 624) It was an inn in 1628, (fn. 625) a posting house in the early 19th century, (fn. 626) was rebuilt in 1890, (fn. 627) and was converted to a licensed hotel by Trust Houses Ltd. in the mid 20th century. (fn. 628) The White Horse, open in 1677, (fn. 629) was a staging inn in the late 18th century, and a posting house in the earlier 19th century, when it was rebuilt. (fn. 630) It may have been patronized by those following the Vale of the White Horse hunt and between 1895 and 1898 it was renamed the Vale Hotel. (fn. 631) The Bear, sometimes called the Old Bear, (fn. 632) was open in 1738 and possibly in the 17th century; (fn. 633) it was a tavern in 1830. (fn. 634) It was reportedly dilapidated in 1835 but remained open, (fn. 635) and was was rebuilt in 1933. (fn. 636) The Red Lion, near the north end of the street, may have replaced a house which in the 1780s was called the old Red Lion; (fn. 637) it was open in 1813, (fn. 638) and was a tavern in the 1830s and 1840s. (fn. 639) The White Lion was probably opened between 1830 and 1842; it was a tavern in 1842 (fn. 640) and is a public house today.
Former inns included the Crown in High Street, which was said to have been an inn in 1551, (fn. 641) but was closed by 1795. (fn. 642) The New Inn, adjoining the Crown, is known to have been an inn only in the later 18th century. (fn. 643) The Bell, apparently open in 1658, was possibly the timber-framed house, 46 High Street, at the corner of Gas Lane; (fn. 644) it was an inn in 1797, but had closed by 1836. (fn. 645) A house called the Star in 1658 may have been an inn or alehouse; it apparently stood in what became Gas Lane. (fn. 646) The George was another inn in High Street in 1677. (fn. 647) The White Swan, sometimes called the Swan, was open in 1726. (fn. 648) In the late 18th century its premises included a malthouse, a coach house, and a stable; it was open in 1807, (fn. 649) though apparently not by the mid 19th century. (fn. 650) The King's Head may have been opened in the 1770s, (fn. 651) was a tavern in 1830 and 1842, (fn. 652) and had been closed by 1999. (fn. 653) The Three Horse Shoes, nos 85–6 High Street, stood between the White Hart and the Red Lion; it was an inn in 1840, (fn. 654) later a beerhouse, (fn. 655) and was closed in 1975. (fn. 656) The New Inn in Calcutt Street had been opened by 1813, (fn. 657) was a tavern in 1830 and 1842, (fn. 658) and had apparently been closed by 1920. (fn. 659) The Five Bells was a beer shop on Bath Road in 1842. (fn. 660) In the 18th century the Black Horse, the Sun, and the Cross Keys may each have been an inn or alehouse in the town. (fn. 661)
Outside the town the Horse and Groom stood at Calcutt in 1817, (fn. 662) and the Black Dog was a beerhouse beside the Cirencester to Wootton Bassett road in 1842. (fn. 663) Neither house seems to have remained open for long.
Benefit and Friendly Societies
Cricklade and neighbouring villages formed the Victoria Medical Institution and Benefit Club c. 1836: the Medical Institution paid for medical treatment and the associated Benefit Club gave money to the sick. Funds were raised through subscriptions and donations. In 1836 the institution had 2,930 free members including children and paid £255 for medical treatment. The club had 587 members and in 1836 gave £243 in 640 weeks' pay to 207 of them; for every ¼d. a week contributed a member was given 1s. a week while sick. The general objective, as declared by the committee of management, was to revive the spirit of independence after the new Poor Laws came into effect. (fn. 664) The institution and the club were still active in the 1870s. (fn. 665) In the 1850s the Cricklade Britannia Friendly Society met at the White Horse inn, and the Oddfellows and Loyal Heart of Oak Lodge met at the Red Lion inn. (fn. 666) The Vale of Cricklade Mutual Benefit Society was formed in 1888. It met at the White Lion at Cricklade and in 1911 had 93 members and paid £43 to sick members. In 1912 it was taken over by the Wiltshire Friendly Society. (fn. 667)
A room on the first floor of the market house was presumably used for meetings of Cricklade borough courts until the house was demolished in 1814. (fn. 668) A privately owned hall near the south end of High Street, available for entertainment and meetings and called the town hall, opened in 1862. (fn. 669) It was used for petty sessions, meetings of Cricklade parish council, dances, and social functions until it was sold in 1932; it was used as a glove factory, (fn. 670) and now houses the public library, the offices of the town council, and a doctor's surgery. A new town hall, south of the old one, was built in 1933. The original design incorporated pay booths, a stage, green rooms, and a sprung floor but only the latter was ultimately included in the final building. (fn. 671) It was enlarged in 1958, (fn. 672) and is used for entertainment, meetings, and social functions.
About 1919 a wooden hut was erected on the east side of High Street south of the town hall; it was managed by a committee as a recreation hall. From 1933 the hut was used in conjunction with the new town hall, which was built beside it, and in 1958 its site was used for the addition to the town hall. (fn. 673) About 1927 a hut was erected in Rectory Lane by the rector of St Mary's church for use as a boys' club. It was called St Mary's hut, was used as additional accommodation for the mixed school in the 1950s, and remained open until the 1960s. (fn. 674) Since 1959, the year in which it closed as a school, Jenner's Hall has been used as a parish hall. (fn. 675)
The Royal Cinema
Accommodating 50–60 people, it opened by 1926 in the infants' school off Gas Lane which closed in 1923. The cinema had closed by 1935. (fn. 676) Library Service This began in 1924, when the county library deposited books for lending at the mixed school at the north end of High Street. (fn. 677) Later and until 1971 the library provided a part-time service in no 37 High Street. In 1971 a full-time branch library was opened on a site off Bath Road behind the new fire station; (fn. 678) in 2002 it was moved to the old town hall. (fn. 679) The museum was opened in 1950 by the Cricklade Historical Society in the building at the south end of High Street which had housed the weighbridge. (fn. 680) In 1986 it moved to the former Baptist chapel in Calcutt Street, which had been bought by the town council. (fn. 681)
In 1885 C. A. R. Hoare, the master of the Vale of the White Horse hunt, moved his hounds from Cirencester to Cricklade, and in 1886 a Cricklade division of the hunt was formed with Hoare as master. (fn. 682) A square courtyard of buildings, including stables, kennels and accommodation for grooms, was built off Bath Road. In 1910 the hunt also leased 43 a. of rough ground in the south-west of Cricklade parish and owned six cottages in Bath Road. It had a professional staff, and W. F. Fuller, who succeeded T. B. Miller as master in 1910, built a small lodge beside the Malmesbury road. In the hunting season particularly the hunt brought commerce and many social functions to Cricklade. (fn. 683) The hounds were removed in 1934, (fn. 684) but from 1945 the hunt owned no. 38 High Street, which it used as a hostel, and then as a social club from 1955 or earlier. (fn. 685)
There was a cricket club at Cricklade in 1884. (fn. 686) In the 1920s it had a pavilion on a field immediately north of the hunt's kennels. About 1934 it moved to a field north-east of the gasworks, and since 1949 it has played on a field north-east of the town, (fn. 687) which had previously been used by the town's football club. The football club has been in existence since at least the 1920s; (fn. 688) after the war it played on fields either side of High Street, and since 1978 it has played on the field on which the leisure centre was built. (fn. 689) A bowls club was started c. 1927, when a green was constructed off the south side of Bath Road. A clubhouse was built, the green was enlarged in or shortly after 1969, (fn. 690) and bowls was still played in 2003. Between the World Wars there were tennis and cricket clubs for ladies, (fn. 691) and since the 1940s or earlier a rifle club has met in the town; in 2003 there were also clubs for rugby football, tennis, and squash. (fn. 692) A new rugby pitch on the east edge of the town was opened in 2001. (fn. 693) A nine-hole golf course was laid out in the grounds of Common Hill House in the late 20th century after the house had been converted to a hotel.
In the late 1950s a field off Stones Lane was bought in the name of the parish council as a playing field. (fn. 694) A leisure centre was built in the field in 1978 by Cricklade Community Association, a local voluntary body; soon after, it was conveyed to North Wiltshire District Council. It incorporates a swimming pool, a sports hall, and facilities for tennis, badminton, squash, and snooker. (fn. 695)
Societies and Events
Cricklade town band was formed in 1887 (fn. 696) and since then has given concerts, and played at events, in the town. There was a second band, the Excelsior, in the 1920s. (fn. 697) A branch of the Women's Institute has met in the town since 1922. Its first president was Mrs C. H. Delmege of Manor House. (fn. 698) Cricklade Historical Committee first met in 1946, and was replaced by Cricklade Historical Society in 1948. (fn. 699) The society opened the museum in 1950, published works on the history of the town in the 1950s and 1960s, and from 1964 published a yearly Bulletin. (fn. 700) In the early 21st century there were various other clubs and societies with social and recreational aims in the town. (fn. 701)
Plays in the new town hall were staged in the 1930s by a drama group of Cricklade. (fn. 702) From 1976 to 1997 there was a yearly music festival, at which most concerts were given in St Sampson's church, and from 1985 to 1988 a yearly words festival was held. (fn. 703) In the early 21st century a yearly town festival was held in June. (fn. 704)
From c. 1650 to c. 1850
Robert Jenner (d. 1651), a citizen and goldsmith of London and owner of Widhill manor, left by will money for a school to be built in Cricklade and bequeathed £20 p.a. to pay a schoolmaster. It was built in Bath Road near St Sampson's church in 1652, (fn. 705) of squared dressed limestone. It has a single storey, of two bays and with two four-light mullioned windows on both its north and south sides, and an attic with three gables each with a three-light mullioned window. The schoolroom was on the ground floor and heated from an east stack. (fn. 706) An ornamental porch that was on the north side in 1875 is said to have been formerly on the south side. (fn. 707)
Jenner appointed one Durham as the first master, who was to teach only Latin, charging up to 4s. a year for teaching each pupil from either Cricklade parish and what he liked for those from elsewhere. (fn. 708) The £20 a year was paid by the executors, probably by John Jenner until, in debt, he absconded in 1680 or 1681, and possibly by his mortgagees until c. 1686. (fn. 709) In 1668 there was apparently no other school in either parish; (fn. 710) in 1683 a schoolmaster in St Sampson's probably taught at Jenner's school. (fn. 711) By 1687 other creditors had begun to receive the profits of Widhill manor; the yearly payments to the master ceased, and by c. 1690 the school had been closed. (fn. 712) John Jenner's son Nathaniel recovered the manor in 1707; (fn. 713) soon afterwards St Sampson's and St Mary's parishes prosecuted him before the Commissioners of Charitable Uses, who in 1712 decreed that Nathaniel must appoint a schoolmaster and pay £20 a year to him. Jenner took exception to the decree, (fn. 714) apparently disobeyed it, and by 1719 St Sampson's parish had taken possession of the school and begun to use it as a poorhouse. The parish used the building as a workhouse from 1726–7 until 1835, when control of it passed to Cricklade and Wootton Bassett poor-law union.
In 1780, the curate was advertising to teach young gentlemen the classics, writing, accounts and fencing; no schools were recorded in either parish in 1783. (fn. 715) In St Sampson's in 1819 a day school was attended by 60 girls and an evening school by 70 boys. The girls' school may have been, or have been replaced by, the school which in 1833 was attended by 30 girls and was said to have been started in 1819. A day school for boys was opened in 1829 and had 25 pupils in 1833. There was no school in St Mary's in 1819, when it was said that one was soon to be opened. In 1833 there were four, one attended by 17 infants, one by 50 girls, one by 30 boys and 10 girls, and one a boarding school for girls with 17 pupils. (fn. 716) The boarding school had been opened by 1830. (fn. 717)
In 1840–1 St Sampson's parish sold the extension of Jenner's school to subscribers who converted part of it into a house for a schoolmaster, and the building of 1652 was converted back to a school. In 1843 the poorlaw union conveyed it to trustees for use as a National school, and the subscribers conveyed the schoolhouse to the same trustees. (fn. 718) Henry Smyth (d. 1867) gave £1,000 in trust to support it, the income from which was £25 in 1905. (fn. 719) About 1850 another day school in Cricklade was held by Primitive Methodists, possibly in the chapel erected c. 1831. (fn. 720)
From c. 1850 to c. 1945
There were five or six schools in the two parishes in 1858, all apparently in the town. At the National school 40 girls and 20 boys were taught on the first floor, 50 infants on the ground floor. At a school in a former chapel, presumably the Primitive Methodists', c. 45 boys and c. 15 girls were taught. There were 10–15 children at a dame school held by a Dissenter, and 10–15 at a school held by a young woman. The boarding school for girls was in 1858 said to be of a superior kind and to have 30 boarders and a few day pupils. In the 1850s the master of the National school resigned on becoming a Dissenting minister. A school which he opened may have been a sixth school at Cricklade in 1858. In addition to the children of its own parishes, the schools in Cricklade were attended by children from Eisey, Purton Stoke, and Leigh. (fn. 721)
Two new schools were built soon after 1858. A National school for infants of both parishes was built on an L-plan on a site at the north end of the town given by Edward Eliot, earl of St Germans in 1860, when infant teaching at Jenner's School presumably ceased. The building was paid for by William Pater, and the school was endowed by John Pater (d. 1860). The endowment yielded £13 10s. in 1903. (fn. 722) Later enlargements included a rock-faced stone schoolroom in Gothic style with plate traceried windows and a bold east bellcot. The other new school, a British school apparently open in 1859, (fn. 723) was built off Mutton (later Gas) Lane, (fn. 724) and presumably replaced the school which had been held in the former chapel. On return day in 1871 there were 56 boys, 40 girls, and 30 infants at the National schools, 52 boys and 18 girls at the British school. (fn. 725)
From 1874 the infants' school was called St Mary's school and accepted older children; average attendance was 59 at the end of that year. The school competed for pupils with the British school, and in 1874 c. 22 children left that school and entered St Mary's. Although six returned, in 1875 those managing the British school were said to be begging parents to send children to it; the British school was closed, probably at Christmas in 1875. (fn. 726)
The National schools in St Mary's and St Sampson's parishes lay under a single board of managers. (fn. 727) In or soon after 1875 the managers opened a new infants' school in the former British school, (fn. 728) and from 1882 St Mary's was a girls' school and the school near St Sampson's church was a boys' school. (fn. 729) Between 1875 and 1898 both the boys' school and the girls' school were enlarged with a new classroom at each. (fn. 730) In 1902, when control over the schools passed to Wiltshire County Council, average attendance was 66 at the infants' school, 73 at the girls' school, and 66 at the boys' school. (fn. 731) By 1920 the girls' school had been doubled in size, and it then had four classrooms. (fn. 732) In 1923 the infants' school was closed, the infants were transferred to the boys' school, and boys and girls over 7 years old were taught at the former girls' school. The mixed school had 153 on its roll in 1930, 130 in 1934. The new head teacher appointed for the infants' school in 1923 adopted Montessori methods of teaching; they were considered unsuccessful and were abandoned in 1926. The school had 82 on its roll in 1924, 53 in 1937, (fn. 733) and 73 in 1943. (fn. 734)
As the local education authority, from 1902 Wiltshire County Council received half the income from Smyth's and Pater's educational charities, a total of £20 a year in the early 1930s. It forewent the income from 1934 to 1939 as a contribution to the cost of repairs to the infants' school, and its right to it was removed in 1945 under the Education Act of 1944. (fn. 735)
A boarding school for girls which was open in 1833 was held at 23 High Street. It had three successive proprietors from the 1850s and was closed probably in 1878. (fn. 736) Other earlier schools had also apparently been closed by the 1870s, but there was a school teaching commerce then, and by 1875 a new private day school had been opened in High Street. The day school remained open until c. 1890. Also c. 1890 a new private boarding school for girls was opened in 112 High Street. It moved c. 1900 to Danvers House (109 High Street), where a galvanized-iron schoolroom was erected in the garden. Girls stayed at the school until they were about 11, and in the 1920s the school included a class of small boys receiving preparatory teaching. The school was closed in 1934. (fn. 737) Between 1910 and 1914 C. E. Godfrey-Jull opened a school at Gospel Oak Farm for training young men to farm in the colonies; it had probably been closed by 1919. (fn. 738) In the 1920s the vicar of St Sampson's built a schoolroom in the garden of the vicarage and taught young men who were preparing for university. (fn. 739)
From c. 1945 to 2003
The conversion of accommodation at RAF Blakehill Farm to civilian housing from 1947, and the raising of the school leaving age to 15, increased the number of children to be taught in the parish. In 1948 a temporary school, Blakehill County school, was opened in converted huts at the camp, and in that year the county council took a lease of the former Wesleyan chapel at the north end of High Street as an extra classroom for the mixed school. (fn. 740) Blakehill school had 25 on its roll in 1949, 54 in 1951, when 33 were juniors and 21 were infants, and 23 in 1954. By 1955 most of those living in the camp had been rehoused and the school was closed. (fn. 741) In 1954 the county council leased St Mary's hut as additional accommodation for the mixed school, (fn. 742) which was attended by older children from Latton and in 1957 had 238 children aged 7 to 15 on its roll. (fn. 743) In 1955 the county took a lease of the schoolroom in the Congregational chapel in Calcutt Street as extra accommodation for the infants' school, (fn. 744) which in 1956 had 60 on its roll. (fn. 745)
In 1959 a new primary school, Cricklade Church of England controlled school, was opened in Bath Road for children aged 5–11. The school at the north end of High Street remained open for older children (fn. 746) until 1962; from 1963 children attended a secondary school at Purton. (fn. 747) As the population of Cricklade increased in the later 20th century, the number of children attending the school in Bath Road also increased. In 1966 the school had 236 pupils, children from Latton joined it in 1970, mobile classrooms were brought to it in 1973 and 1978, and there were 499 pupils in 1979. (fn. 748) In 1979 an infants' school was built in its grounds and it became a junior school. (fn. 749) Both schools were later called after St Sampson. In 2000 the infant school had 155 aged 5–7, the junior school 211 pupils aged 7–11. (fn. 750)
In 1946 the Christian Brothers, a Roman Catholic teaching order, opened a school in the Manor House in Calcutt Street as a preparatory school for Prior Park College in Bath. The school in Cricklade was a boarding school for boys and had 62 pupils in 1947. The drawing room of the house was converted to a chapel, and in 1947 classrooms, a refectory, and recreation rooms were built. New dormitories were built in 1962, and in 1965 there were 100 boys boarded at the school. A new chapel and a hall were built in 1967. Lay teachers were employed from the early 1950s, in the 1970s the number of them increased, and from 1981 the school was under lay management. The number of pupils increased after day boys were admitted in the 1970s. Day girls were later admitted, a pre-preparatory and nursery school, Meadowpark, was built in the school's grounds in 1996, and a sports hall was opened in 2000. In 2002 Prior Park Preparatory school had 58 boarders and 134 day pupils and, with Meadowpark, accepted children aged from 6 months to 13 years. (fn. 751)
A church, possibly of high status, may have existed at Cricklade before the establishment of the town. (fn. 752) There was a church at Cricklade in the later 10th century, when the ealdorman Æethelmaer (will dated 971 X 983) devised £1 to it. (fn. 753) By 1086 there was a chapel dedicated to St Michael, apparently still in use in the early 15th century. There were two medieval parish churches, St Sampson's and St Mary's, Protestant Nonconformist chapels from 1799, and a Roman Catholic place of worship from the 1930s.
St Sampson's church apparently originated in the late 10th or the 11th century, and in 1086 it belonged to Westminster Abbey, having previously belonged to Robert son of Wimarc. (fn. 754) It was dedicated to St Sampson by 1204, when a rector had almost certainly been instituted. (fn. 755) The earliest surviving record of a rector is 1249. (fn. 756) In the early Middle Ages the owner or rector of the church was almost certainly entitled to all the tithes of Cricklade, Chelworth, Calcutt, and Widhill. Thereafter some tithes were assigned to endow St John's hospital, some to endow St Mary's church, and some to endow a vicarage in St Sampson's, probably in this order between the 1220s and 1278.
St Mary's, the second parish church of the town was built in the earlier 12th century probably as a daughter of St Sampson's, which was then described as a mother church. (fn. 757) Later, part of St Sampson's parish was assigned to St Mary's as a parish, where a rectory was endowed, and a rector presented probably in the mid 13th century. St John's hospital not the rector of St Mary's took the tithes of Abingdon Court manor, suggesting that the rectory was endowed after the assignment of tithes to the hospital, which was built probably in the 1220s. Similarly, the fact that the vicar of St Sampson's took no tithe from St Mary's parish suggests that St Mary's rectory was endowed before the vicarage, which had been ordained probably by 1278. The first recorded presentation of a rector was in 1327, by when the church was dedicated to St Mary. (fn. 758)
St Sampson's church was rich enough to support a vicar in addition to the rector, and by 1291 a vicarage had been ordained. (fn. 759) The most likely date for the ordination is perhaps between 1272, from when Master Richard of Abingdon is known to have been rector, and 1278, when the advowson of the rectory of St Sampson's was conveyed by Robert of Abingdon to Adam of Stratton. The church was served jointly by a rector and a vicar (fn. 760) until it was appropriated by Salisbury cathedral, probably in the 1430s (fn. 761) under a licence of 1427, (fn. 762) from when it was served only by a vicar. (fn. 763) Tithes were assigned to the vicar probably at the ordination although possibly after the church was appropriated.
In 1952 the vicarage of St Sampson's, the rectory of St Mary's, and the vicarage of Latton with Eisey were united as the united benefice of Cricklade with Latton; St Mary's church became a chapel of ease of St Sampson's, and the two parishes were united. (fn. 764) St Mary's church was declared redundant in 1981 (fn. 765) and was leased to the Roman Catholic diocese of Clifton in 1984. (fn. 766)
RELIGIOUS LIFEBefore the 1660s
From the institution of the rectory, probably before 1204, until its appropriation by Salisbury Cathedral c. 1430, St Sampson's church was served by a rector usually presented by a layman. (fn. 767) The rector from 1272 or earlier was Master Richard of Abingdon (d. c. 1322), who was presented by Robert of Abingdon, apparently his predecessor as the owner of the estate later called Abingdon Court manor. Richard, a baron of the Exchequer from 1299, held other livings and it may have been he who by 1291, and possibly by 1278, had presented what may have been the first vicar of St Sampson's; only in 1309, when he was a subdeacon, were letters issued for Richard to be ordained deacon and priest. (fn. 768) In 1318, after he had resigned the living, he and Queen Margaret (d. 1318) made rival presentations of a successor, and the king and Richard disputed the advowson which, perhaps under duress, Robert of Abingdon had conveyed to Adam of Stratton and which had passed to the king on Adam's downfall. The king withdrew from the suit and in the years 1318–20 Richard presented successively Nicholas, Richard, and Geoffrey Haghman. (fn. 769)
In 1388 Richard Everdon exchanged the rectory of Chelsea (Middx.) for that of St Sampson's, and in 1389 he was licensed to be absent for a year. (fn. 770) His successor John Roland, rector 1398–1402, was a pluralist; (fn. 771) John Wootton, rector 1403–18, was twice licensed to be absent for a year, (fn. 772) and Oliver Dyneley, rector 1418–30, was another pluralist. The last rector was presented in 1430. (fn. 773)
From 1324 or earlier the vicar who served St Sampson's jointly with the rector was presented by the rector. After the church was appropriated he served alone and was presented by the dean and chapter of Salisbury. (fn. 774) In 1324 the vicar exchanged livings with the rector of Oaksey: in 1325, when he still lived at Cricklade and remained prior of St John's hospital there, he admitted incontinence while vicar and promised to live at Oaksey. (fn. 775) In 1348–9 the vicarage changed hands four times. (fn. 776)
A light which burned in St Sampson's church in 1390–1 was endowed with property which was confiscated by the Crown at the Reformation. (fn. 777) Walter Hungerford, Lord Hungerford (d. 1449), who gave the advowson of St Sampson's to Salisbury cathedral, bequeathed premises in Cricklade to endow an obit, or chantry, in Our Lady's chapel in St Sampson's. (fn. 778) The obit was well endowed, and after the Reformation the endowment was acquired by trustees for the Waylands charity. (fn. 779) In St Sampson's in 1499 there were altars in honour of St John the Baptist and St Sampson, lights in honour of St John the Baptist, St Mary the Virgin, and Holy Cross, and six other lights or shrines before which saints were invoked. (fn. 780) St Paul's chapel, in which obits were to be said for John Jane (d. 1526), vicar of St Sampson's, may have been part of that church; his will (fn. 781) is the only known reference to it.
Laymen presented the rectors to St Mary's church, except in 1329 and 1344. In the years 1381–4 the rectory changed hands five times, and in the 15th century the average incumbency was less than five years long. Two rectors resigned on being instituted vicar of St Sampson's, William Askeby in 1453 and John Jane in 1508. (fn. 782)
The chapel of St Michael was built in Cricklade in the earlier Middle Ages apparently by the lord of Aldbourne manor, who also held six burgage plots in the town in 1086, property that descended with the manors of Aldbourne and Wanborough. (fn. 783) About 1217 William, count of Perche, bishop of Châlons, and lord of both manors, presented his clerk as chaplain. The right to present passed with the lordship in demesne of Wanborough manor to Stephen Longespeée (d. 1260), whose widow Emily, also widow of Henry de Lacy, earl of Ulster, held it as dower in 1267–8. An attempt by Emily to present a new chaplain was delayed until a denial by the rector of Castle Eaton that the chapel was vacant was then disproved by the bishop of Salisbury. (fn. 784) How long the chapel continued in use is uncertain, but its naming in the description of an adjoining site might indicate that it was still in use in 1417 and 1424; (fn. 785) the description, however, may have been anachronistic. There is inconclusive and indirect evidence that the chapel stood in Calcutt Street. (fn. 786)
The priests and other religious men serving the chapel in St John's hospital (fn. 787) may have contributed to the religious life of Cricklade outside the hospital. In 1548, however, the prior held a benefice in Dorset, where he lived. (fn. 788) In the mid 15th century there was a fraternity in Cricklade dedicated to the Virgin. (fn. 789)
Although not expressly mentioned in records earlier than the 17th century the chapel at Widhill in St Sampson's parish was apparently in use in the Middle Ages, and there was a chaplain of Widhill in 1282. (fn. 790) A chapel dedicated to St Helen was said to stand at Hailstone, which was dependent on South Cerney church and probably stood in South Cerney parish. (fn. 791)
At an enquiry into the progress of Protestant reform in 1553, it was found that both St Sampson's and St Mary's lacked the Paraphrases of Erasmus. At St Sampson's the churchwardens complained that the old custom for worship was not followed, and the vicar was suspected of immorality. Plate weighing 3½ oz. was confiscated from St Sampson's for the king and a 12-oz. chalice was left in the church, which also possessed four bells at that time. At St Mary's there was no quarterly sermon, the Creed was not said as it should be, and there was no carpet for the communion table. Plate weighing 2½ oz. was taken from St Mary's for the king, and a 9-oz. chalice was left in the parish; there were three bells in the church. (fn. 792)
In 1584 the only complaint against the vicar of St Sampson's was that he refused to church 'base people', presumably any woman who had given birth to a bastard. The rector of St Mary's was then described as a preacher, poor, without a degree, and lacking the square cap required by Parker's Advertisements of 1566. (fn. 793) At St Mary's a new chalice with paten cover hallmarked for 1577 was provided, (fn. 794) and c. 1593, although no sermon was preached, the Homilies were read to exhort the congregation. (fn. 795) A new Bible was given in 1613 and a new communion table in 1627. (fn. 796) At St Sampson's a new chalice and paten cover, of parcel gilt, was provided in or after 1615. (fn. 797)
The status of the chapel at Widhill was disputed in 1605. One William Bond, intending to procure the tithes of Widhill, the parsonage house and the 6 a. of glebe there, claimed that the chapel had been served by a parson with an independent living which at the Reformation had been suppressed as a chantry. The Crown, despite the doubts of its surveyor that the claim was justifiable, leased the chapel with the tithes and glebe of Widhill to Bond, who allegedly dismantled the pews and converted the chapel to a dwelling house. The vicar of St Sampson's claimed that it was a chapel of ease served by him and his predecessors. He referred to an earlier suit in which a resident of Widhill demanded that the vicar should perform services in the chapel, and he asserted that from before the Reformation they had had all rights in it except burial. The court of the Exchequer ordered that the chapel should be restored and that the vicar should be allowed to hold services in it and retain the tithes and glebe. (fn. 798)
Andrew Lenn, vicar of St Sampson's 1600–41, was succeeded as vicar by his son Andrew, who was vicar of St Sampson's 1641–68 and rector of St Mary's 1661–8. (fn. 799) In 1649 Lenn was said to be a Godly, able, and diligent preacher. The chapel at Widhill, at which three families worshipped, was then served by a curate. (fn. 800) No presentation of a rector of St Mary's is known to have been made between 1626 and 1661, (fn. 801) and it is not known how the church was served in the Interregnum.1660s–1790
St Sampson's appears to have been an enthusiastic parish after the Restoration. A flagon was donated to the parish in 1681, and in 1701 Sir Stephen Fox, MP for the town, gave a chalice and paten cover. (fn. 802) In 1702 the vicar's wife gave a new carpet for the communion table, and the four bells hanging in the church were recast in 1703 by Abraham Rudhall. (fn. 803) By the 18th century, the nave and south aisle of St Sampson's were apparently becoming overcrowded. In 1700 the clerk's seat was one of those converted for private use and he was provided a new seat near the pulpit; in 1704 a small gallery for private use was built in the north-east corner of the aisle, (fn. 804) and in 1712–13 there was a dispute over the alteration of other seats. (fn. 805) A singers' gallery was built against the west wall of the nave c. 1726, paid for by the singers, (fn. 806) and another gallery, 14 ft wide, was built immediately north of it in 1728. (fn. 807) A gallery 15 ft wide and approached by a staircase outside the church was built at the east end of the aisle c. 1730, (fn. 808) and another seat was built as a gallery on posts c. 1773. (fn. 809) The churchwardens adopted a new seating plan c. 1785; the pulpit then stood near the middle of the arcade. (fn. 810)
In the 1660s, it was customary at St Mary's to kneel at prayers, stand when the Creed was read, and bow at the name Jesus. (fn. 811) By this time the advowson of St Mary's had passed out of the hands of the family which had held it for three centuries or more, and from 1661 rectors were presented by the diocese or the Crown. From 1661 to 1668 and from 1704 to 1757 the rector was also vicar of St Sampson's. (fn. 812) No rector is known for the period 1668–1704, and for some or all of it the vicar of St Sampson's served St Mary's as curate. (fn. 813) The living of St Mary's was in the hands of sequestrators in the 1670s. (fn. 814) Between 1761 and 1779 it was enjoyed by the vicar, (fn. 815) who presumably served the church. From 1779 there was a rector of St Mary's who was not the vicar of St Sampson's. (fn. 816) The three bells hanging in the church were recast by Thomas Rudhall of Gloucester in the same year; a sanctus bell had previously been added in 1733. (fn. 817)
The owners of Widhill manor claimed the sole right to sit, hear divine service, and bury in the north (Kemble's, later Jenner's) aisle of St Sampson's church. From the late 17th century until 1863–4 the aisle was separated from the rest of the church by a high wainscotted partition, kept locked in the late 17th century. In return for maintaining the aisle and Widhill chapel the owners of the manor claimed exemption from church rates. The chapel and the aisle were neglected between c. 1680, when the owner of the manor, John Jenner, absconded, and 1707, when his son Nathaniel gained control of the manor. In 1683 the chapel was said to need repair and by the early 18th century had been demolished; in John's absence the parish maintained the aisle and buried corpses in it. A dispute in 1721 between Nathaniel and the churchwardens ended with Nathaniel being denied exclusive use of the aisle and ordered to pay church rates and with the parish continuing to maintain and use the aisle. (fn. 818) Nathaniel had rebuilt the chapel by 1721, but in 1783 it was said that the chapel was a ruin and that no services had been held for 50 years. (fn. 819)
Edward Cuthbert, the incumbent of both churches from 1704, (fn. 820) was alleged to have left the town c. 1716 and to have appointed a curate to serve St Sampson's. (fn. 821) Curates served St Sampson's in the 1720s and 1730s and for most, if not all, of the period 1757–89. (fn. 822) Thomas Frome, vicar 1761–89, was a pluralist. (fn. 823) In 1783 Edward Campbell lived in the vicarage house of St Sampson's and, as curate, served St Sampson's, St Mary's, and the church at Eisey. At Cricklade on Sundays he held a morning service at St Sampson's with prayers and a sermon and in the afternoon either a service at St Mary's or prayers at St Sampson's; he also held services in St Sampson's on Wednesdays, Fridays, holidays, and festival days. He held communion at the four great festivals, probably at both churches in Cricklade; at Easter there were c. 30 communicants at St Sampson's, c. 12 at St Mary's. Campbell catechized in Lent. (fn. 824)1790s–21st Century
Both parish churches were served by curates in the early 19th century. William Macdonald, vicar of St Sampson's 1809–17, was a canon of Salisbury from 1807 and held three other Wiltshire livings while he was vicar. His successor at Cricklade, Henry Gantlett, vicar until 1849, (fn. 825) improved the vicarage house in 1818, (fn. 826) resided, (fn. 827) and was sometimes assisted by a curate. (fn. 828) A treble cast by James Wells was added to the ring of bells in 1803, and an organ was built in the singers' gallery at the west end of the church in 1820. (fn. 829) John Edmeads, rector of St Mary's 1827–34, and Hugh Allan, rector 1834–82, (fn. 830) also seem to have resided. (fn. 831)
On Census Sunday in 1851 there were morning and afternoon services at St Sampson's with congregations, excluding children at Sunday school, averaging c. 225. At St Mary's 65 adults attended a morning service, 163 an evening service. Independents, Primitive Methodists, and Baptists each held three services with average congregations of, respectively, 23, 80, and 57. (fn. 832)
In the later 19th century and earlier 20th religious observance apparently reached its peak at Cricklade; the two parish churches were restored and reseated, and several Nonconformist chapels were built in the town. The Salvation Army met in the town in the late 19th century or early 20th, (fn. 833) a Church of England mission room was open at Chelworth from 1914 to c. 1924, (fn. 834) and there was a Roman Catholic place of worship in the town from c. 1933.
At St Sampson's church in the late 19th century the vicar was usually assisted by a curate. In 1893–4 three services were held every Sunday, one service on every weekday, and additional services at Christmas and on Good Friday and Ascension day; there were c. 115 communicants and communion was celebrated every Sunday and at festivals and on saints' days; there was a choir of 18 males and 10 females. (fn. 835) The tenor bell was recast by John Warner & Sons in 1887. (fn. 836) At St Mary's in the period 1893–5, while John McKaye was rector, a new organ and a clock were installed, the bells were rehung, and the rectory house was enlarged; McKaye gave a silver flagon and a silver paten in 1899. In 1893 three services were held every Sunday, and additional services were held in Advent, Lent, and Passion week and on Christmas day, Good Friday, and Ascension day; communion was celebrated c. 16 times a year and there were 21 communicants; there was a choir of 13 males. (fn. 837) In 1903 there were two services every Sunday at each of the four Nonconformist chapels. (fn. 838)
Between the two world wars Anglo-Catholicism advanced in both parishes. In the 1920s S. W. L. Richards, vicar of St Sampson's 1920–50, celebrated mass nearly every morning, heard confessions on Saturday evenings, wore a biretta in church, and brought several high-church practices into services. As a result many of the parishioners shunned St Sampson's church until, in the 1930s, Richards's views and practices were either moderated or accepted. (fn. 839) One of the bells was recast in 1931. (fn. 840) At St Mary's Holy Communion was celebrated daily in 1931, (fn. 841) and a silvergilt chalice was given in 1937. (fn. 842)
Attendance at all forms of religious worship, except perhaps Roman Catholicism, had declined at Cricklade by the late 20th century. From 1952 the incumbent of the united benefice served St Sampson's, St Mary's, and Latton churches; in that year part of the ecclesiastical parish of St Sampson's was transferred to Purton. Until 1997 the incumbent lived in what had been the rectory house of St Mary's, thereafter in another house in the town; until the 1980s he was usually assisted by a stipendiary curate who lived at Cricklade. (fn. 843) The united parish retained all of the plate of the two ancient parishes in 2003, (fn. 844) and there were services held in St Sampson's every day in 2008. (fn. 845) In 1976 the bells were removed from the tower of St Mary's church: one was added to the ring in St Sampson's church and two were sold. The sanctus bell of 1733 remained in the church in 2003. (fn. 846) St Mary's was declared redundant in 1981, and has been a Roman Catholic church since 1984. (fn. 847)
INSTITUTIONS, PROPERTY AND BUILDINGSSt Sampson's
Although the church belonged to Westminster Abbey in 1086, by 1204 the advowson had passed to John de la Wike (d. by 1225) and his wife Margery. (fn. 848) In 1240 it was held by Master Richard de la Wike, (fn. 849) and in 1278 by Robert of Abingdon, probably the owner of the estate later called Abingdon Court manor, when it was claimed from him as of right by Isabel de Forz, countess of Aumale. (fn. 850) In 1276, she had granted Cricklade manor to her attorney, Adam of Stratton, and in 1278, after Adam undertook not to challenge Robert's title to Robert's own land in Cricklade, Robert conveyed the advowson to Adam. (fn. 851) The advowson was among Adam's estates seized by the king in 1289, when Adam was charged with corruption, and in 1318 it was recovered by Master Richard of Abingdon, apparently Robert's successor to the future Abingdon Court manor. (fn. 852) Another Robert of Abingdon held the advowson, and apparently the estate, in 1329, (fn. 853) and the advowson passed with the estate to Margaret and Thomas of St Omer. (fn. 854) The king presented in 1366 because Margaret's and Thomas's heir was a minor. (fn. 855) The advowson descended with the estate, (fn. 856) was bought by Walter Hungerford in 1425, (fn. 857) and was given to Salisbury cathedral c. 1427. (fn. 858) The dean and chapter presented the last rector in 1430. (fn. 859)
The advowson of the vicarage belonged to the rector until the mid 15th century, probably from when the first vicar was appointed. (fn. 860) When the dean and chapter of Salisbury appropriated the church they became patrons of the vicarage and, with only four known exceptions, they presented all the vicars instituted between then and 1892. (fn. 861) In the later 16th century and earlier 17th the advowson was leased with the Rectory estate, and the lessee's right to present was exercised by Thomas Ernle in 1570 and Thomas Saunders in 1600. (fn. 862) It was excepted from leases from 1633, and a presentation by Robert Jenner in 1641 was presumably by grant of a turn. (fn. 863) The advowson passed to the state on the abolition of the dean and chapter in 1648 and back to the reconstituted chapter at the Restoration. (fn. 864) The dean and chapter presented in 1668 and Joseph Kelsey, a canon of the cathedral, presented in 1704 by grant of a turn. (fn. 865) In an exchange in 1892 the dean and chapter of Salisbury gave the advowson to the dean and chapter of Bristol, (fn. 866) who from 1952 were entitled to present at every third vacancy of the united benefice of Cricklade with Latton. (fn. 867)
Value, Income and Property
In 1291 the rectory was valued at £13 6s. 8d., the vicarage at £5. (fn. 868) In 1535 the vicarage was worth £18 11s. 10d., (fn. 869) in 1630 it was augmented by £40 a year at the disafforestation of Braydon forest, and in 1649 its value was put at £100. (fn. 870) In the early 19th century, valued at £505 in 1809 (fn. 871) and £560 in 1818, (fn. 872) the vicarage was moderately wealthy.
The rector of St Sampson's was almost certainly entitled to all the tithes from Cricklade, Chelworth, Calcutt, and Widhill until tithes were assigned to St John's hospital, the rector of St Mary's, and the vicar of St Sampson's in the 13th century. After tithes were assigned to the vicar, the rectorial tithes were those of grain and hay from the whole parish except Widhill and 1 yardland of the rector's glebe. In 1306 Cirencester abbey made good its claim to the tithes of Russhey mead. The remaining rectorial tithes belonged to the dean and chapter of Salisbury cathedral from the time of the appropriation of St Sampson's church in the 1430s. The tithes assigned to the vicar were all those from Widhill and the 1 yardland and, from the rest of the parish, all tithes of wool, lambs, and pigs, and other small tithes. In 1705 they included 2 gallons of ale from every tavern brewing its own ale in the parish. (fn. 873)
In the early 19th century the tithes from the early inclosures belonging to the lords and freeholders of Chelworth, which lay in St Sampson's parish and within the Inner boundary of Braydon forest, were shared by the dean and chapter as owners of the Rectory estate and by the vicar, as were the tithes in most other parts of the parish. The inclosures were reckoned at 636 a. in the earlier 17th century, at 667 a. in the earlier 19th. From no other part of the forest, including the 296 a. of Chelworth's commonable land inclosed c. 1816, was tithe paid to the owner of the Rectory estate or to the vicar, although from 1630 the vicar received £40 a year in place of tithes from c. 2,000 a. of the forest. By the earlier 19th century the vicar's tithes from the 667 a. had been covered by a modus of £6 19s. 6d. (fn. 874)
In 1837 the tithes from Widhill were valued at £177 and commuted. (fn. 875) In 1841 the vicar's other tithes were valued at £296 19s. 6d. including the £40 and the £6 19s. 6d.; they were commuted c. 1844. (fn. 876)
The vicar's glebe may have been taken from the rector's when tithes were assigned to the vicarage, and there is architectural evidence that a vicarage house was built in the late 13th century. The rectory estate was left with a house, 27 a. in South mead, 1 yardland, 33 a. in four closes, and feeding for 12 beasts and a bull in Dudgemore. (fn. 877) The 27 a. was given to the rector, or to the dean and chapter as owner of the rectory estate, to replace tithes from South mead. (fn. 878) A seven-bayed barn on the rectory estate, probably built c. 1500, with rubble stone walls supporting cruck trusses and cranked tiebeams with arched braces and cranked collars, (fn. 879) was demolished in 1964.
In 1588 and 1608 the vicar had a house, 7 a. of meadow at Calcutt, and c. 5 a. at Widhill. (fn. 880) About 1816 at inclosure 7 a. was allotted to him apparently to replace the land at Calcutt. (fn. 881) The land at Widhill was not part of the glebe in 1837. (fn. 882) In the early 20th century the glebe was increased from c. 7 a. to c. 12 a. (fn. 883)
St Sampson's Church
The large medieval church incorporates a pre-Conquest building. Its most distinctive feature, the central tower, is 16th-century. (fn. 884) The tower is square and has octagonal buttresses at each corner, conical pinnacles, and a heavy Gothic appearance. The church was built of limestone rubble with roofs of stone slates and lead. It consists of a chancel with south chapel, the central tower and short transepts, and a nave with three-bayed north and south aisles and north porch.
A church had been built before the Conquest and possibly as early as the late 10th century. It was large and cruciform and had an aisless nave of its present dimensions. Pre-Conquest masonry survives in the south wall of the nave and incorporates, at a high level, a pilaster strip which possibly sprang from a doorway or porticus. To the west carvings on two stones, incorporated in the wall before the south aisle was built and possibly in situ, are also pre-Conquest. One stone shows the heads of snarling beasts; the other may have been part of a Roman altar re-used as a sundial. (fn. 885) Two stones with interlace set above the door of the porch were found at ground level in the porch's walls c. 1863. (fn. 886)
In the late 12th century the aisles were added to the nave, which then lay open to each by two arches broken through its walls at its east end. The responds of the arches on the north and of the easternmost arch on the south have plain piers and Transitional leaf capitals. The south aisle, which was built with a lean-to roof, probably stopped short of the western bay of the nave; it is narrow and may have matched the width of a porticus, if one was already standing. In the early 13th century a third arch was made in both the north and south walls of the nave, and what became the middle arch in the south wall was apparently altered; the new arches and that middle arch have Early English responds with clustered shafts. The whole north aisle was evidently rebuilt under a pitched roof, stands slightly wider than the north transept, and has at the west end of its north wall large lancet windows with shafts. The windows of the south aisle were replaced by small internally shafted lancets. A little later in the 13th century the chancel was rebuilt, and the east wall of each transept may have been rebuilt; the present north, south, and west doorways of the church were made, and three-light windows each with small circular lights above the two outer lights were inserted in the west wall of the nave and the west and south walls of the south aisle.
In the mid 14th century elaborate traceried windows, each of three lights and a cinquefoil, were inserted in the chancel; those in the north and south walls survive. In the same period the east end of the north aisle was altered apparently for use as a private chapel, and a canopied wall-tomb was inserted. Two new windows, each with tracery of a reticulated pattern with many cusps, were inserted in the aisle, one in the north wall at the east end and one in the west wall. The south chapel was added to the chancel in the late 15th century; it is of high quality, and its east window is flanked by niches with traceried canopies. Also in the 15th century the north window of the north transept was replaced, parapets were added to the north transept and part of the south transept, and new roofs for the nave, transepts, and south aisle were constructed; the corbels for the roofs survive. The sites of three of the altars or shrines besides the high altar which were in the church in the Middle Ages are marked by piscinae of the 13th and 14th centuries, one in each of the transepts and one at the east end of the south aisle.
The crossing tower was rebuilt between 1500 and 1550; rebuilding may have been in progress c. 1520. (fn. 887) The new tower incorporates piers which are chamfered. The chamfering gives the inside of the tall lantern stage an octagonal form, and in that respect the tower is like those of the churches of Fairford and Kempsford (both Glos.). The crossing is closed high up by a lierne vault, and a rood screen which stood east of the tower's eastern arch was reached from a turret staircase in the tower's south-east corner. Inside the tower the most notable architectural feature is ornamental panelling which frames heraldry, figurative carving, selfconsciously archaic detail, and proto-Renaissance continental motifs. The suggestion, embellished by fantasy, that John Dudley, duke of Northumberland (d. 1553), promoted the tower or the completion of it is difficult to endorse; neither John nor his son John, earl of Warwick, was ever lord of Cricklade manor, between them they held Little Chelworth manor for only three months in 1552–3, and the building of the tower may have long preceded the addition of badges associated with the Dudleys to empty recessed panels inside its south wall. (fn. 888) The church's porch may also be 16thcentury, and in 1569, perhaps to help to withstand the thrust of the tower, a flying buttress was added to the corner of the south chapel. (fn. 889) In the late 16th or early 17th century the south window of the south transept was partly filled with a four-light mullioned and transomed window and partly blocked.
Between the early 17th and mid 19th century the structure of the church was little altered. In the 18th century the north side of it was apparently used less than the south. The Jenner aisle remained closed off from the rest of the church and the north transept was described as a vacant open place in 1785, whilst several galleries were erected in the south part of the church, and in 1842 the pews were described as of all shapes and sizes. In 1785 the unpartitioned south transept was called the new vestry, having formerly been in the west end of the north aisle, and in 1842 the vestry was the south chapel, which until 1863 lay closed off from the chancel and the south aisle. In 1863 the chancel had a ceiling and there were rails around the altar. (fn. 890)
The church was extensively restored and refurnished in 1863–4 under the supervision of Ewan Christian. The roof was replaced, the south wall was rebuilt except for its west end, much of the south transept was rebuilt, and the east window was replaced. The Jenner aisle and the south chapel were thrown open to the rest of the church, a stone pulpit was built, galleries were removed, and the church was reseated. (fn. 891) Later 19thcentury stained glass includes that of 1888 by C. E. Kempe in the west window. Painted glass in the east window, and the high altar with its decorated ridell posts, were designed by Martin Travers in the 1920s and 1930s. (fn. 892) The font in the church has a bowl of the 15th century and a base and a cover of the later 19th century.
All that survives of St Sampson's churchyard cross is the base, which is plain, and part of the stem. (fn. 893)
The vicarage house, now called Candletree, incorporates features of the later 13th or early 14th century and was perhaps built about the time of the ordination. A section of thick walling towards the north end of the east front of the present house contains a two-light window with blind quatrefoil in the head; it is not clear whether that fabric was part of a hall or chamber. The north bay of the house, also with thick stone walling and with heated chambers on two floors, was apparently added in the 15th or early 16th century; the lower chamber contains a carved chimneypiece of that period. In 1608 it comprised a hall, parlour, buttery, kitchen, and upper rooms. (fn. 894) In the mid 17th century coursed rubble was used to rebuild or recase the south end, and stone-mullioned ovolo-moulded windows were inserted into the building, then as now of two storeys and six bays. In the early 19th century the house was extended southwards, its front windows were replaced, and its interior was altered. In 1818 the rear service rooms were improved and a new coach house and a new stable were built. (fn. 895) The vicarage house was sold c. 1952. (fn. 896)
What were apparently rival presentations were made in 1327 by Roger Normand of Southampton and Christine of Baunton; Christine's candidate was also presented in that year by Robert of Baunton (probably her husband Robert of Pennington). Christine's son William Pennington presented in 1329 and, although his candidate was not instituted, (fn. 897) the advowson descended with an estate or manor in Baunton (Glos.). In 1349 Henry Pennington presented as a representative of the heir of Thomas Pennington, in 1362 as the lord of Baunton, and in 1381. Edward Chesterton presented in 1383–4 and John George in 1389; George was a relative of the Penningtons and was described as the lord of Baunton. The advowson descended in the George family until the 17th century apparently with the manor or estate in Baunton. (fn. 898) It passed from Christopher George (d. 1597) to his son Richard (d. 1613), the purchaser of Great Chelworth manor. (fn. 899) Although the advowson descended with Great Chelworth manor until the early 18th century, (fn. 900) the last known presentations by members of the George family or their feoffees were those by Robert George in 1620 and Robert Burgoyne and others in 1626, (fn. 901) and the right to present may have passed out of the George family by default.
In 1661 the collation of a rector in that year by the ordinary was confirmed by the Crown. The Crown presented by lapse in 1704, the ordinary collated in 1742 and 1751, the Crown again presented by lapse in 1779, (fn. 902) and the ordinary again collated in 1827 and 1834. (fn. 903) In 1852 the advowson was transferred from the bishop of Salisbury to the bishop of Gloucester and Bristol, (fn. 904) to whose diocese the parish had been transferred in 1836. (fn. 905) From 1897 it was held by the bishop of Bristol, who was entitled to present at every third vacancy of the benefice formed in 1952. (fn. 906)
Value, Income and Property
The rectory was poorly endowed. In 1535 it was valued at £4 14s. 9d., (fn. 907) in 1705 at only £12. (fn. 908) On four occasions, in 1769, 1787, 1788, and 1799 it was augmented by Queen Anne's Bounty with £200 by lot. It was augmented twice more by Queen Anne's Bounty, in 1799 and 1829, on each occasion with £200 to meet private benefactions. In 1833 it was augmented with £400, of which the bishop of Salisbury gave £200 and parliament gave £200. (fn. 909) About 1830 the living was worth £80 a year. (fn. 910) In 1882 the Ecclesiastical Commissioners gave a yearly stipend of £76. (fn. 911)
The parish assigned to St Mary's church was only 122 a. It included the main buildings and c. 50 a. of Abingdon Court manor, the site and estate of St John's hospital, and half the town. (fn. 912) The tithes from that part of Abingdon Court manor were an endowment of the hospital, and the hospital and its lands were tithe free, presumably from its foundation. Despite an assertion in 1677 that the rector was entitled to all the tithes from the whole parish except those from what had been the hospital's land, (fn. 913) the rector was not entitled to tithes from Abingdon Court manor in 1839 and may never have been. The rector's tithes, arising from c. 50 a., were valued at £15 in 1839 and commuted c. 1840. (fn. 914)
In 1608 the glebe consisted of the rectory house, another house, and 2 a. of meadow. In 1677 it consisted of the two houses and c. 6 a., of which about half lay in the parish of St Sampson's. (fn. 915) Money with which the living was augmented was apparently used to buy land. About 1840 the rector held 36 a. in Purton parish, (fn. 916) 2 a. in St Mary's, and 12 a. in St Sampson's; (fn. 917) in 1920 he held that 50 a., the rectory house, and a building (nos 87–8) in High Street. The 36 a. in Purton was part of the airfield of RAF Blakehill Farm from 1943 and was sold to the Air Ministry probably in the 1940s; an additional 3 a. was sold in 1948. (fn. 918) St Mary's stone rectory house was apparently rebuilt in the early 19th century and enlarged in 1894–5 in a Domestic-Revival style hung with clay tiles, (fn. 919) to which a new porch was added in 1931. (fn. 920) It became the parsonage house of the united benefice in 1952, (fn. 921) and was sold in 1997. (fn. 922)
By the mid 17th century the churchwardens had acquired three tenements in the town in trust. The rent from one, called the clerk's house, later no. 65 High Street, was given to the clerk to improve his wages for keeping the body of the church clean. (fn. 923) The rent from the others was used to maintain and repair the church; one, later no 80. High Street, stood at the corner of High Street and Abingdon Court Lane and the other at the junction of Abingdon Court Lane and Horsefair Lane. A fourth tenement was built, on the north side of Abingdon Court Lane, and was described as new in 1732. (fn. 924) Between 1840 and 1875 the tenement at the junction was destroyed. (fn. 925) In 1893 the income from the remaining three was applied to general church expenses, (fn. 926) and in 1931 the site of the fourth was sold. The income from the charity was £45 in 1949. (fn. 927) The three cottages were later sold. (fn. 928)
St Mary's Church
Built beside High Street in the early 12th century, it lay just inside the fortifications. (fn. 929) Although the raised level of the churchyard may be attributed to the embankment which formed part of the fortifications, it has been shown that the chancel and nave were built well down the reverse slope of the bank. Its position against Cricklade's north gate has led to the suggestion that the present building occupies the site of an Anglo-Saxon church, such as existed close to town entrances at Wareham, Oxford and elsewhere. (fn. 930) If, as is likely, the wall which was added to the fortifications was built c. 1144 then the present church may have been built before it or have been contemporary with it. Additions to the church made after the 12th century resulted in notable variations of alignment not yet satisfactorily explained. (fn. 931) The present church consists of the chancel with a north chapel, the nave with north and south aisles and south porch, and a west tower. A restoration of 1908 gave it an Arts-and-Crafts appearance.
In the early 12th century the church consisted of a small chancel and a nave the size of the present one. Fabric of that date survives in the east and west walls of the nave and in the west face of the chancel arch, which has two orders ornamented with zigzag and engaged shafts with scallop capitals; a Norman doorway was reset in the north wall of the north aisle. In the 13th century the chancel was replaced by a larger one and the aisles and the tower were built. In the 14th century the tower arch was enlarged, the bell stage of the tower was probably built, the aisles and tower were buttressed, and the chapel was built; the chapel is wider than the north aisle. In the late 14th century or early 15th the porch was added, the upper part being timberframed; (fn. 932) the arcades and the roof of the nave were rebuilt, square-headed windows were inserted in the north and south walls of the aisles and in the north wall of the chapel, and a timber ceiling was constructed in the chapel. Both arcades are of three bays with octagonal piers and four-centred arches and are joined to the east wall of the nave by blank walling which supported a rood screen, an upper doorway to which survives on the south side; the large squints from the aisles to the chancel were probably made when the arcades were built.
New fittings installed in the early 17th century included a two-decker pulpit which stood against the east pier of the north arcade, (fn. 933) an altar table dated 1627, and other furniture. In 1779 an enclosed stair was built in the angle of the chancel and the south aisle to serve a gallery, and galleries may have been lit by the two dormer windows which had been constructed in the south side of the nave roof by 1810. (fn. 934) The lancet window in the east wall of the chapel may have been inserted in the 18th century, and by 1861 the wall between the north aisle and the chapel, and the blank north and south walls at the east end of the nave, had all been pierced. (fn. 935) The church was restored in 1862 under the supervision of John Galpin. The east and south walls of the chancel were rebuilt and the chancel and the aisles were reroofed; the porch was rebuilt to its original design and several windows, including the east window in the chancel, were replaced; galleries, pews, and the enclosed stair were removed and the church was reseated; the roof of the nave, previously ceiled, was exposed and repaired and the dormer windows were removed; wooden friezes carved in the 15th century and fitted along the tops of the walls of the aisles inside the church before 1842 were cleaned and repaired. The pitched roof of the tower was not altered. (fn. 936) In 1908, to designs by C. E. Ponting, the church was again restored. The dormers were replaced in the roof of the nave and, to improve the east end of the chancel, a reredos and a new east window in Decorated style were inserted. (fn. 937)
A 13th-century font with a moulded bowl, a single broad shaft, and a moulded base stood in the church in 1810; (fn. 938) the shaft and the base were replaced in 1862. In 1893 an organ was installed in the chapel, (fn. 939) and from 1984 Roman Catholic fittings were placed in the church.
The 15th-century cross in St Mary's churchyard consists of a stepped base and a tall shaft carrying a head which has a canopied niche on each side. The niches contain carved depictions of the Crucifixion, the Assumption, a bishop, and a pair of male and female figures. (fn. 940) In 1811 the cross was apparently in its original form except that an iron standard had been fixed to the top. (fn. 941) In 1925 the top of the cross was blown down, repaired, and rebuilt. (fn. 942)
There were several families of Quakers in Cricklade from the 1660s to the 1680s and others at Chelworth in the early 18th century. (fn. 943) There were 12 Dissenters in the two parishes in 1676, (fn. 944) and evidently two or more families of Baptists in St Sampson's in 1683. (fn. 945) Dissent in Cricklade sprang up again in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. There were Independents in the town from the 1770s and there was a chapel from 1799; Independents also certified a chapel in the former Braydon forest in 1828. Primitive Methodists met in the town from 1825, had a chapel 1832–8, and met again in a new room from 1842. Wesleyan Methodists were meeting in the mid 19th century and built a new chapel in 1870. Baptist meetings were also held in the town. The two Methodist congregations amalgamated in 1938, but both chapels had closed by 1969. The Baptist chapel was closed in 1946. The chapel built for Independents, affiliated to the United Reformed Church from 1972, remains open and is shared by the Methodists.
Five Nonconformist chapels survive: they stand away from the main part of High Street and are generally simple in design and plain in appearance.
Meeting at Cricklade from 1772, in 1799 they built the Ebenezer chapel in Calcutt Street. It had a small burial ground, and was served by a resident minister. (fn. 946) In 1851, when it may still have been served by a resident pastor, the average congregation on Census Sunday was only 23. (fn. 947) A new chapel was built on the front of the old by Congregationalists in 1878, with a stone façade in Gothic style and a tower which was apparently intended to carry a spire; (fn. 948) there was a resident pastor in the 1920s and 1930s. From 1969 the chapel was shared by Methodists. (fn. 949) As a chapel of the United Reformed Church from 1972, and still shared by Methodists, it remains open and still served by a resident minister. (fn. 950)
A Primitive Methodist society was formed at Cricklade in 1824, (fn. 953) and a meeting house was certified in 1825. (fn. 954) In 1827 there was preaching twice each Sunday. (fn. 955) In 1831 a large room and in 1832 a chapel, probably the building containing the room, were certified for meetings. (fn. 956) The society apparently failed and the chapel was closed in 1838. Meetings had been resumed by 1842, when the chapel was also in use as a day school. A new chapel was built on the south side of Calcutt Street in 1855–6. In 1893 the chapel was reseated and a schoolroom was added; in 1903 a new organ was installed. (fn. 957)
Wesleyan Methodists held meetings in the mid 19th century in a single-storeyed building on the site of St John's hospital at the north end of the town. (fn. 958) They built a new chapel at the north end of High Street in 1870, with Gothic windows and a rock-faced front, (fn. 959) to which a porch was added c. 1902. (fn. 960) In 1875 the chapel was licensed for marriages. (fn. 961)
The two Methodist congregations in Cricklade were amalgamated in 1938. Sunday services were thereafter held in the Calcutt Street chapel, which in 1939 was licensed for marriages, and between 1939 and 1945 the chapel in High Street was closed for good. The organ in the chapel in Calcutt Street was replaced in 1947. (fn. 962) The chapel was closed in 1969, after which Methodists shared the Congregational chapel in Calcutt Street. (fn. 963)
A meeting place existed in 1851, (fn. 964) which was replaced by the Rehoboth chapel in Calcutt Street in 1852. (fn. 965) Until 1869 the new chapel was served by Cornelius Cowley in conjunction with a chapel at Fairford. (fn. 966) Men and women were baptized in the Thames. (fn. 967) The chapel remained open until 1937. (fn. 968)
A recusant lived at Cricklade in the mid 17th century, (fn. 969) but there were none in either parish in 1676 or in 1692. (fn. 970) From c. 1933 Roman Catholics worshipped in the former British school off Gas Lane. (fn. 971) During the Second World War they moved to one of the Nissen huts erected on the east side of High Street south of the town hall, and from 1946 they may additionally have attended services at the Roman Catholic school in the Manor House in Calcutt Street, where the chaplain celebrated a weekly public mass. About Christmas 1953 the Roman Catholics left the Nissen hut, (fn. 972) and by 1955 they had converted the former Baptist chapel in Calcutt Street to a Roman Catholic church. The church was dedicated to St Augustine and was served from Cirencester. It was given up in 1984, when a 100-year lease of St Mary's church was granted to Clifton diocese, which is served from Fairford. In 1999 attendance was c. 60. (fn. 973)