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CRECGELADE

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Ninth century burh of Cricklade, fortified by 919 or possibly earlier. The town is surrounded by a square earthwork now surviving as a low bank. The present circuit extends for 2073 metres, the equivalent of 1650 hides. Version A of the Burghal Hidage attributes 1400 hides to Cricklade, while Version B attributes 1500 hides. Excavations have discerned four elements of the circuit; a timber-revetted clay and turf bank; a double-ditch system externally; an intra-mural walkway around the inner face of the bank; a simple tower at each corner inside the bank. A stone wall, 4 feet thick at the base, was added to the front of the bank, probably early in the 10th century. Haslam notes that the parish boundary of the former parish of St Mary's, now a `ward', was in existence by 985, and he suggests that it reflects a Saxon land division designed to support the defence of the north sector of the town.

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