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The Cricklade & Wootton Bassett Area



Cricklade, the First Town on the Thames, has been called "the most intact example of a late Saxon new town in Britain". Purton boasts its own remarkable landmarks and archaeology. While Cricklade is a Saxon town, Purton can demonstrate much from the Iron Age, and Roman times.

In its earliest days Wootton Bassett would have bordered on Bradon Forest. Until the mid 1800s the towns of Cricklade and Wootton Bassett were larger and more important locally than Swindon. (This once small town was expanded by the arrival of Brunel's Great Western Railway.) Wootton Bassett is a typical market town with a long High Street, broadening to allow space for its market; one that is thriving and is still held every Wednesday.

Geologically, there are natural divisions between the north and south of the Community Area. The northern part of the area contains the Upper Thames flood plain. It is naturally low lying with nationally significant deposits of gravel. These have already been extracted in the Ashton Keynes area and much of the former gravel pits now form part of the Cotswold Water Park.