Wantage is a town in the Vale of White Horse, near the Thames Valley, southern England. It is most famous for being the birthplace of Alfred the Great, in the 9th century. A marble statue of Alfred by Count Gleichen was erected in the 19th century and still stands in Wantage market-place.
This statue was paid for by Lord Wantage (Robert James Lindsay, later Colonel Sir Robert James Loyd-Lindsay, Baron Wantage of Lockinge, 1832–1901), who also donated the Victoria Cross Gallery to the town, that contained paintings of the deeds leading to a number of Victoria Cross medals, including his own gained during the Crimean War. He was a notable local and national benefactor, who was also involved in founding the English Red Cross Society.
Weekly trading rights were first granted to Wantage by Henry III in 1216. Markets are now held twice weekly, on Wednesday and Saturday.
The name Wantage derives, it is thought, from a Celtic name, something resembling Gwanet-inge, meaning "Dog River".