1859: The Thames, Mr & Mrs Hall


Mean flow 1.4 cumecs; high flow exceeded 10% of the time 4 cumecs; low flow exceeded 95% of the time 0.07 cumecs
This section in The Stripling Thames by Fred Thacker

1910: Thames Valley Villages by Charles G Harper

[The width of the Thames at the Barrier is about the distance from Cricklade Bridge to Cricklade Slipway ]
Cricklade Slipway, Left bank, very light craft only.
Good concrete slipway in Cricklade gives access to a high current section which could hardly be used by boats with any more than a few inches draught.  Perhaps this is where the rowing boat is launched which was said to inspect this section annually?

1888: from " The Thames: Oxford to its Source" by Paul Blake -

Then came the old plank bridge, prettily situated between wooded banks, then Rose Cottage, then Cricklade.
"Well!" exclaimed Figgis, as they landed at Rose Cottage,
"that's over at last. I never did such a piece of river in my life."
"What a pace we went, too!" said Budd - "a mile an hour at least. I should like to put the winning eight at Henley on that stretch with the tallest rushes."

1909: Fred Thacker in The Stripling Thames -

Two or three meadows above Eisey Bridge the Dance Brook enters upon the southern bank, little deserving its title here, whatever be the case higher up its course. It gives its name to the Dance Common just outside Cricklade.
Now a farm blocks the way, but if you persevere round you will arrive at a rustic bridge called Hatchett's, on the outskirts of Cricklade, where baptisms have been performed within living memory.
Rose Cottage adjoins it, well known to men who navigate through to Cricklade;
above which Taunt marks an old weir site; perhaps the ruinous old house on the Left bank was the weirkeeper's; it stands at the head of the pool.
And then the walk is barred by "nimble footed Churn"; and I went to my night's rest back across Hatchett's Bridge and into Cricklade.

Hatchett's Bridge, Cricklade. 1910

1922: Cricklade in Round about the Upper Thames by Alfred Williams

Cricklade is about half-way between Ashton Keynes and Castle Eaton, astride the famous Roman road of Ermin Street.
The place is smaller than it was formerly.
At the beginning of the tenth century, the Danes, invited by Ethelwold, carried fire and sword throughout Mercia, came to Cricklade, forded the Thames, beat down the walls, and, after seizing all they could lay hands on hereabout, retired by the same way they had come. In those days the town was of importance, and possessed a mint, which continued active throughout Saxon and Danish times till the reign of Henry II.
A few of the Cricklade coins still exist in collections, and others are buried about the meadows.
Cricklade is said to date from a period much more remote than that of either Dane, Saxon, or Roman.
According to monkish traditions the Trojan Brutus came here with a party of his countrymen as long ago as the year ll80 BC and founded a university among the early Britons, who had their fortress upon Blunsdon Hill, overlooking the Vale.
What the son of Troy taught, or in what manner his teaching was received by the rude natives in those unenlightened times, does not appear.
He could not have brought the Iliad in his pocket, nor yet have told the story of Dido and Aeneas, for neither the one nor the other had been composed at that time, if, indeed, Troy had been sacked and the eventful voyage to Carthage and Italy made by the son of Venus and Anchises.
As for the "university", that was probably founded by Penda, King of Mercia, long afterwards, namely, AD 650.
The seat of learning seems to have flourished until it was transferred to Oxford by King Alfred towards the end of the ninth century.

There is another striking tradition attaching to the locality. It is said that Saint Augustine met the Welsh Bishops and deliberated with them in the vicinity of Cricklade.
It was formerly supposed that the meeting took place near the Old Passage on the Severn, but it has been suggested that it was held in the forest of Bradon, which extended to the wa1ls of the town.
Bede says they met "at a place which to this day is called Augustine's Oak, on the borders of the Wiccii and the West Saxons".
From the direction, the relative distance, the site, and the tradition, the conclusion has been drawn that the Augustine's Oak of Bede is the Gospel Oak at Bradon in the Cricklade parish.

The town is an old fashioned place, rather quaint than beautiful.
It chiefly consists of one long wide street bordered with old stone built houses with roofs of tiles or thatch, black with age.
An ancient Preceptory stood near the river. This was built by the Knights Hospitallers in the time of Henry III; parts of the original building still remain included in the walls of the Priory.

Cricklade is a Borough "by prescription".
It sent members to Parliament irregularly from the reign of Edward I. till that of Henry VI. After that date the returns were continuous till the year 1782, when, by reason of bribery and corruption, its franchise was extended to the freeholders of Highworth and Staple.
The town possesses an ancient Charter, which was granted by Henry II. out of gratitude for the kindness shown by the townspeop1e to his mother, the Empress Maud, when she fled from Stephen.
By virtue of the Charter the people of Cricklade were to enjoy their Tole Book and all customs, be undisturbed in their passage throughout the kingdom, and protected against all molestation under a penalty of ten pounds.
It was furthermore granted to them that they should not be arrested nor have their goods seized anywhere unless they were principal debtors or sureties, and they had the right to sell "toll free" in any town in Great Britain or Ireland.
This part of the Charter is still effective.
Quite recently a Cricklade dealer refused to pay the toll demanded by the market authorities in a neighbouring town and they threatened to seize his goods.
Upon making enquiries, however, they found that the dealer was secure; he was "toll free" by virtue of the ancient Charter of the town.
Although the Thames source is fourteen miles above Castle Eaton the river, in a general sense, is not recognised higher up than Cricklade.
There interest and association, except for the enthusiast, practically cease.
Navigation in any form is at present impracticable above the junction with the Churn.
The great Roman thoroughfare of Ermin Street forded the Thames at Cricklade.
By this road produce was brought from the Cotswolds on the one hand, and the Wiltshire Downs on the other, and shipped downstream.
For some miles west of Ermin Street good roads were lacking; it was therefore convenient that Cricklade should be the starting-point of the river's trade, though the stream was traversed by small barges to within a mile of Ashton Keynes.

Cricklade Footbridge

This may be more than a footbridge - but I don't know if its public -

Cricklade Footbridge
Cricklade Footbridge.

River is no more than a maximum of two feet deep with stones which scraped the punt.

Thames Cricklade

The river goes round behind the houses and nothing of Cricklade actually faces the river. Photo taken going downstream.

Map: River Churn

The River Churn joins from the north, Right bank -

River Churn
The River Churn.

The River Churn was contributing significantly to the stream about 100 yards below the High Street Bridge.
The River Churn is certainly a major source of the River Thames since its source is at Seven Springs.

West Mill Weir Site, Cricklade

West Mill Cricklade is in the Domesday Book.
1828: Westall - the River was then navigable to this point for barges of six or seven tons.
1920: Fred Thacker -

West Mill was bought up and stopped some years ago by the Thames Conservancy to prevent its interference with the level of the River.