11 Facts About Berkshire


One of the home counties, Berkshire was recognised by Queen Elizabeth II as the Royal County of Berkshire in 1957 because of the presence of Windsor Castle, and letters patent were issued in 1974.

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Berkshire is a county of historic origin, a ceremonial county and a non-metropolitan county without a county council.

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Since 1998, Berkshire has been governed by the six unitary authorities of Bracknell Forest, Reading, Slough, West Berkshire, Windsor and Maidenhead and Wokingham.

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Berkshire has been the scene of some notable battles throughout its history.

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On 1 April 1974, Berkshire's boundaries changed under the Local Government Act 1972.

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Berkshire took over administration of Slough and Eton and part of the former Eton Rural District from Buckinghamshire.

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Signs saying "Welcome to the Royal County of Berkshire" exist on borders of West Berkshire, on the east side of Virginia Water, on the M4 motorway, on the south side of Sonning Bridge, on the A404 southbound by Marlow, and northbound on the A33 past Stratfield Saye.

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North-east Berkshire has the low calciferous m-shaped bends of the Thames south of which is a broader, clayey, gravelly former watery plain or belt from Earley to Windsor and beyond, south, are parcels and belts of uneroded higher sands, flints, shingles and lightly acid soil and in the north of the Bagshot Formation, north of Surrey and Hampshire.

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West Berkshire is much more rural and sparsely populated, with far fewer towns: the largest are Newbury, Thatcham, and Hungerford.

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Some Berkshire cheeses are Wigmore, Waterloo and Spenwood in Riseley; and Barkham Blue, Barkham Chase and Loddon Blewe at Barkham.

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Berkshire is home to the following universities: the University of Reading, Imperial College, and the University of West London.

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