CRICKLADE, market town of Wiltshire, England, 9m. N.W. of Swindon, on the G.W.R. Pop. (1921) 1,425. Cricklade owed its importance in Saxon times to its position at the passage of the Thames, and is mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. It possessed a mint in the time of Edward the Confessor, and William of Dover fortified a castle here in the reign of Stephen. In the reign of Henry III. a hospital dedicated to St. John the Baptist was founded. Cricklade was a borough by prescription at least as early as the Domesday Survey, and returned two members to par liament from 1295 until the act of 1885. The borough was never incorporated, but certain liberties, including exemption from toll and passage, were granted by Henry III. and confirmed by suc cessive sovereigns. In 1257 Baldwin de Insula obtained a grant of a Thursday market, which later was much frequented by dealers in corn and cattle, and an annual three days' fair at the feast of St. Peter ad Vincula. During the 14th century Cricklade formed part of the dowry of the queens of England.
The cruciform church of St. Sampson is mainly Perpendicular, with a fine ornate tower, and an old rood-stone in its churchyard. The small church of St. Mary has an Early English tower, Per pendicular aisles and a Norman chancel arch. Pop. of rural dis trict with Wootton Bassett (1931) 11,369.