|erkshire or Royal Berkshire - County of
south central England. First recorded as Beaurrucsir in 860 meaning a wooden hill district
originating from the great forest of birch trees called Bearroc, the Celtic word for
From April 1998 Berkshire was split into six unitary authorities: West Berkshire Council
- Reading Borough Council - Slough Borough Council - Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead
- Wokingham District Council - Bracknell Forest Borough
|owns and cities
||Newbury (administrative headquarters), Hungerford, Lambourn, Aldermaston,
||1,256 sq km / 484 sq mi
||768,000 (1995 est)
is largely a lowland area drained by the Thames and Kennet rivers. The River Cambourn and
the Kennet and Avon Canal also flow through the County; Snelsmore Common Country Park
covers 146 acres including wetland habitats; Inkpen Hill (291 m / 854 ft) with Stone Age
tomb and Walbury Hill (297 m / 974 ft) with Iron Age fort are the highest chalk hills in
England. Thatcham Moors reedbeds are designated Sites of Special Scientific Interest
||Race horse industry, agriculture, dairy cattle, pig farming (including
local Berkshire pig)
Industries include the manufacture of biscuits, brewing, boats, engineering, printing, and
electronics. Reading is an agricultural and horticultural centre with seed-testing grounds
and is a major bulb producer.
||The writer Oscar Wilde spent two
years in Reading jail (1895-97). Reading was also the birthplace of William Laud,
Archbishop of Canterbury from 1633.
Windsor & Eton
River Thames - The longest river in England, it rises in the Cotswold
Hills above Cirencester and is tidal as far as Teddington. It enters Berkshire from
Oxfordshire and flows Eastwards into Surrey.
Castle, founded by William the Conqueror in 1070 was renovated in the 1820s,
during the reign of George IV. Despite the serious fire of November 1992, many parts of
the royal residence remain open, including St George's Chapel, an architectural
masterpiece with a glorious fan-vaulted roof.
Windsor Great Park, over 4,000 acres of royal hunting ground.
Eton College, World famous
college founded by Henry VI in 1440. The walls of the 15th-century College border the High
Household Cavalry Museum (Windsor)
Stanley Spencer Gallery (Cookham on Thames)
Ascot Racecourse - Royalty and high society attend four racing days,
which include the Ascot Gold Cup, one of the longest flat races of the season. The event
has become famous for the flamboyant designer hats worn by women racegoers, especially on
the third day, which is known as Ladies Day.
Swallowfield Park, house built for 2nd Earl of Clarendon in 1690.
Attractive and historic, a Thameside gem. Monday market under the old County Hall arches.
Good for GWR steam enthusiasts. The power station dominates and it has open days in
Dominated by the Atomic Energy Research stack but retaining an olde-worlde charm with 14th
to 18th century buildings.
By the river, with its clustering boats and ducks, is pleasant with a clutter of antique
Fine Georgian cottages and almshouses.
Riverside town with pub-lined towpath.
Notorious by-pass. Fine almhouses, a cloth museum and horse-drawn barge trips.
Has a set of almshouses and paving stones made of sheep bones. King Alfred, he of the
burnt cakes, was born here.
Donnington castle. A mile to the north of Newbury
is Donnington Castle. It was succesfully defended three times by Sir John Boys during the
Civil War. Only the 14th Century gatehouse remains.
Henley Regatta course. UK rowing festival on the river Thames,
inaugurated in 1839. The regatta is held in July. As from 1998, professional rowers were
allowed to compete at Henley after the Regatta's stewards had dropped the amateur
definition from their rules.
The Meteorological Office at Bracknell - (one of two global
forecasting centres for the world's airlines)
Reading - There are remains of a 12th-century Benedictine abbey where
Henry I is buried. The Museum of Reading includes Roman and Saxon relics, and a full-size
Victorian reproduction of the Bayeaux Tapestry. The Museum of English Rural Life is also
Slough - A small market town until the beginning of the 20th century. The
home of astronomer William Herschel is now a museum. The story of the town is recorded in
Sunningdale - Golf is a popular sport to play and watch in Great Britain
and international tournaments are held at courses across the country. One of the oldest of
them is at Sunningdale.
Basildon Park, Lower Basildon, Reading.
Englefield House, Englefield, Theale, Reading.
The Savill Garden, windsor Great Park.
Taplow Court, Berry Hillm Taplow, Nr. Maidenhead.