Berkshire  England

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In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described Berkshire like this:

Berkshire, one of the inland cos. of England, lying between Hants and the river Thames, bounded on the N. by Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, and Bucks, E by Surrey, S. by Herts, and W. by Wilts; greatest length, E. and W., 53 miles; greatest breadth, N. and W., 30 miles; area 462,210 ac., pop. 218,363. ...

It is intersected in a westerly direction by a line of chalk hills, a continuation of the Chilterns, the highest elevation being White Horse Hill, alt. 893 ft. N. of this is the White Horse Vale (so called from the figure of a horse cut out on the hill-side), and to the S. lies the Vale of Kennet, watered by the Kennet stream. These tracts are well cultivated, and produce good crops of grain, &c., especially in the Vale of the White Horse. Dairy farms and commons abound; much of the surface is under woods, chiefly of oak and beech. Windsor Forest, covering upwards of 50,000 ac., lies in the E. (For agricultural statistics, see Appendix.) The Thames flows along the entire N. boundary (100 miles in extent); its tributaries are the Kennet, Lambourn, Ock, and Loddon. The mfrs. are unimportant, being chiefly agricultural implements and malt. The Great Western Ry., the Thames, and 2 canals are the chief means of transit. The co. contains 20 hundreds, 193 pars. with parts of 4 ohers, the parl. and mun. bors. of Reading (1 member) and New Windsor (1 member), the mun. bors. of Maidenhead, Newbury, and Wallingford, and the greater part of the mun. bor. of Abingdon. It is almost entirely in the diocese of Oxford. For parliamentary purposes it is divided into 3 divisions, viz., Northern or Abingdon, Southern or Newbury, and Eastern or Wokingham, 1 member for each division.

Vision of Britain presents long-run change by redistricting historical statistics to modern units. However, none of our modern units covers an area close to that of Berkshire. If you want trends covering a particular location within the county, find it on our historical maps and then select "Tell me more".

How to reference this page:

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Berkshire | Map and description for the county, A Vision of Britain through Time.


Date accessed: 21st July 2024

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