Pictures of Cricklade
Lying in the northern reaches of Wiltshire, the historic town of Cricklade has many visual delights. It has gracious Cotswold stone properties and impressive churches. It also has the Swindon and Cricklade Heritage steam rail line, a project which first began 25 years ago and still extending.
One of the most important features of the town is the North Meadow Nature Reserve. The reserve, watered by the River Thames, is of acclaimed international repute. A great variety of wild flowers, including the rare snakeshead fritillary, flourish here on the flood planes of the Thames, in what is considered one of the finest examples of lowland hay meadows in Europe. The reserve is designated as being a Special Area of Conservation and has been in the ownership of English Nature since the 1970's. By tradition, the residents of Cricklade, have for centuries cared for the reserve. In partnership with English Nature, this tradition continues to this day.
Cricklade prospered as a Saxon town in the 9th-century.and in medieval times, the town depended largely on wool for its stability. The beautiful church dedicated to St.Sampson was built in Saxon times but much of what we see today is the result of restoration workin the 14th and 15th-centuries. The interior of the church displays much Norman work, whilst the magnificent exterior is dominated by a layered tower dating from 1553. The church is surrounded by a peaceful, lawned churchyard showing ancient tombstones and the town's 14th-century cross. Picturesque, St.Mary's church also originated in Saxon times but has distinctly Norman features. Interestingly, the church was Anglican but a dwindling congregation led to it being leased to the Roman Catholic Church.
An exploration of the town reveals quaint cottage buildings, historic hotels and inns. There is an interesting mix of shops, several of which are family owned and run. Central in the town, close to the river is the ornate town clock, dating from 1898. Cricklade Museum is housed in a former Baptist Chapel of 1852.
A short distance away, just across the River Ray, is Blunsdon, start of the Swindon Cricklade Heritage Steam Railway. Blunsdon Station offers modern facilities whilst retaining all the atmosphere of a romantic by-gone age.
There are many interesting little villages in the lovely open countryside surrounding the town that are well worth seeing.
Other nearby recommended towns & villages..
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