Cricklade 'castle'

Has been described as a Questionable Timber Castle (Other/Unknown)

There are no visible remains

NameCricklade 'castle'
Alternative Names
Historic CountryWiltshire
Modern AuthorityWiltshire
1974 AuthorityWiltshire
Civil ParishCricklade

An adulterine castle was built at Cricklade in 1144. Location unknown. (PastScape ref. King 1983)

In the Gesta Stephani of 1144 it is reported that William of Dover built a castle at Cricklade, surrounded by water and marshes. This castle has never been identified (it is suggested that the description does not fit the town and the castle may have been outside the walls - Cricklade Historical Society), and the reference may simply be to a re-fortification of the burgh defences, for which there is archaeological evidence (Haslam 1975). The town sided with the Empress during the anarchy and war. (Urban Survey Chippenham)

The castle built in 1144 by William of Dover with water and marsh on every side (Gesta Stephani, p. 113) may have been Castle Eaton (Renn 1973)

Gatehouse Comments

The description 'surrounded by water and marshes' could certainly apply to Cricklade town itself and the term castellumque used in the Gesta might well mean walled town rather than castle. It is difficult to see a reason to build a new castle when a strong defensive position already existed. Gatehouse favours this reference as a garrisoning of the existing town defences rather than as a castle, as suggested by Haslam (2003). Castle Eaton has also been suggested as the site. Questionable as a distinct separate castle.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSU098938
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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  • Salter, Mike, 2002, The Castles of Wessex (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 89
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 501
  • Haslam, J., 1976, Wiltshire towns: the archaeological potential (Devizes: Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society) p. 18
  • Renn, D.F., 1973 (2 edn.), Norman Castles of Britain (London: John Baker) p. 161
  • Thomson, T.R., 1958-61, Materials for a History of Cricklade (Oxford: Oxford University Press) p. 71-2
  • Mackenzie, J.D., 1896, Castles of England; their story and structure (New York: Macmillan) Vol. 1 p. 222 online copy


  • Haslam, J., 2003, 'Excavations at  Cricklade, Wiltshire, 1975' Internet Archaeology Vol. 14 online copy
  • Creighton, O.H., 2000, 'Early Castles in the Medieval Landscape of Wiltshire' Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine Vol. 93 p. 108 online copy

Primary Sources

  • Sewell, R.C. (ed), 1846, Gesta Stephani, Regis Anglorum et Ducis Normannorum p. 106 online copy (The newer edition and translation by Potter, K.R. (ed), 1976 (2edn), Gesta Stephani (Oxford University Press) should be consulted for serious study. See also Speight, S., 2000, 'Castle Warfare in the Gesta Stephani' , Château Gaillard Vol. 19 [see online transcription >])


  • 2004, The Archaeology of Wiltshire's Towns An Extensive Urban Survey Cricklade (Wiltshire County Archaeology Service) online copy