Reading  Berkshire


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

Reading.-- parl. and mun. bor., and co. town of Berks, on river Kennet, near its confluence with the Thames, 36 miles W. of London by rail - mun. bor., 2186 ac., pop. 42,054; parl. bor., pop. 46,054; 4 Banks, 4 newspapers. Market-days, Wednesday and Saturday. Reading was a town in Saxon times, was occupied by the Danes in 871, and has remains of a magnificent abbey founded by Henry I., who was buried within the precincts in 1135; was the frequent meeting-place of church councils and parliaments until 1466; and was fortified by the royalists, and besieged and taken by Essex, during the Civil War. ...

The town is well laid out, and has some fine public buildings. Reading is the centre of a large agricultural district, and is also a great railway centre, while it has extensive water conveyance by the Thames and Kennet navigations; and it carries on an important trade in all kinds of agricultural produce, and in supplying the surrounding towns with goods. The industrial establishments include iron foundries, engine works, agricultural implement manufactories, flour mills, breweries, potteries, boat-building yards, a biscuit factory, and a seed emporium. Archbishop Laud (1573-1G45) was a native. Reading returns 1 member to Parliament; it returned 2 members from the time of Charles I. until 1885, when the parliamentary limits were extended.

Reading through time

Click here for graphs and data of how Reading has changed over two centuries. For statistics for historical units named after Reading go to Units and Statistics.

How to reference this page:

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


Date accessed: 14th April 2024

Not where you were looking for?

Click here for more detailed advice on finding places within A Vision of Britain through Time, and maybe some references to other places called "Reading".