Cricklade from Early Roman Times
There is archaeological evidence of a Roman settlement at Cricklade, though its full extent is not known. The Roman road – Ermine Street – connecting Cirencester (Corinium) and Silchester (Calleva), crossed the Thames and Churn floodplain to the north of the present town. After King Alfred made a peace treaty with Guthrum he built a fortified town – burgh – to the south of the Thames as part of the northern defences of Wessex. A causeway crossing at the narrowest point of the flood plain diverted the road through the town. Saxon diversions of the river courses and a series of sluices meant that the floodplain could be made impassable even in the summer.
Eleventh century documents show that 1,500 men were needed to defend the town, the numbers being made up from outlying villages in the event of an alarm. A stone wall was added to the ramparts about 1010 but seems to have been demolished by the Danish king Cnut in 1016. The Town had its own moneyer and Cricklade coins date from 979 to 1096. Many Cricklade coins are to be seen in Museums in London and in Denmark and Scandinavia, arriving there as part of the Danegeld – ransom paid for the peace treaty to prevent further Viking attacks.
Information supplied by Cricklade Museum Website www.cricklademuseum.org