From Academic Kids

Status:Ceremonial County and County
Region:South East England
- Total
Ranked 40th
1,262 km²
- Total (2003 est.)
- Density
Ranked 26th
Ethnicity:88.7% White
6.8% S.Asian
2.0% Afro-Carib.
Missing image
Arms of Berkshire

Members of Parliament

Adam Afriyie, Richard Benyon, Andrew Mackay, Fiona Mactaggart, Theresa May, John Redwood, Martin Salter, Rob Wilson

  1. West Berkshire
  2. Reading
  3. Wokingham
  4. Bracknell Forest
  5. Windsor and Maidenhead
  6. Slough
For other places named Berkshire, see: Berkshire (disambiguation)

Berkshire (IPA: or  ; sometimes abbreviated to Berks) is a county in the south of England, to the west of London and also bordering on Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Greater London, Surrey, Wiltshire and Hampshire.

It is also known as Royal Berkshire, and this title was made official with a grant in the 1930s.



The county is one of the oldest in England, being reliably dated back to the setting of the county borders by King Alfred the Great of Wessex. Following the reorganisation of the counties in 1974, Abingdon (its former county town) and the Vale of the White Horse were transferred to Oxfordshire, Slough was added from Buckinghamshire, and Reading became the county town. On April 1, 1998 the county council was abolished and the districts became unitary authorities.

The county takes its name from a large forest of birch trees that was called Bearroc (Celtic for 'hilly') and was originally a transaction of land to King Cenwalh of Wessex. At this time, it only consisted of the northerly and westerly parts of the current county.

Berkshire has been the scene of many battles throught history, during Alfred the Great's campaign against the Danes, including the Battle of Englesfield, the Battle of Ashdown and the Battle of Reading. During the English Civil War there were two battles in Newbury.

Geology, landscape and ecology

The highest point in the county is Walbury Hill at 297m (974ft). It is the highest point on Salisbury Plain and in the whole of South East England.


According to 2003 estimates there are 803,657 people in Berkshire, or 636 people / km2. The population is mostly based in the urban areas to the east of the county, with West Berkshire being much more rural.

The population has increased massively since 1831, this may be in part due to the sweeping boundary changes however. In 1831 there were 146,234 people living in Berkshire, by 1901 it had risen to 252,571 (of which 122,807 were male and 129,764 were female).

Population of Berkshire:


As Berkshire is now only a ceremonial county, it has no county council. In the unitary authorities the Conservatives controls the West Berkshire, Wokingham and Bracknell Forest councils, Labour control Reading county council, whilst the Liberal Democrats control the Windsor and Maidenhead council. Slough is controlled jointly between the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives.

Since the 2005 general election, the Conservative Party dominates, controlling 6 out of 8 constituencies. Slough and Reading West are both represented by the Labour Party.

See also: List of Parliamentary constituencies in Berkshire


Missing image
The Kennet Valley.

Main article: List of places in Berkshire

The largest town in Berkshire by population is Reading, however possibly more famous is the town of Windsor, the most famous resident being Queen Elizabeth II.

By population:

Due to the county border changes in 1974 there are a number of towns which are no longer in Berkshire but Oxfordshire. These include Abingdon, Didcot, Faringdon, Wallingford and Wantage.

Places of interest


See also

External links



United Kingdom | England | Ceremonial counties of England Flag of England

Bedfordshire | Berkshire | City of Bristol | Buckinghamshire | Cambridgeshire | Cheshire | Cornwall | Cumbria | Derbyshire | Devon | Dorset | Durham | East Riding of Yorkshire | East Sussex | Essex | Gloucestershire | Greater London | Greater Manchester | Hampshire | Herefordshire | Hertfordshire | Isle of Wight | Kent | Lancashire | Leicestershire | Lincolnshire | City of London | Merseyside | Norfolk | Northamptonshire | Northumberland | North Yorkshire | Nottinghamshire | Oxfordshire | Rutland | Shropshire | Somerset | South Yorkshire | Staffordshire | Suffolk | Surrey | Tyne and Wear | Warwickshire | West Midlands | West Sussex | West Yorkshire | Wiltshire | Worcestershire

da:Berkshire, England de:Berkshire eo:Berkshire es:Berkshire no:Berkshire nl:Berkshire


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