Reading, Berkshire

historic market town in Berkshire, England

Reading (pronounced: "Redding") is a large town in Berkshire in England.[3] It is the largest settlement in Berkshire. It is home to about 230,000 people. Reading is found in South East England, between London and Bristol. The River Thames goes through the town. Reading replaced Abingdon as the county town of Berkshire in 1867.

Borough of Reading
From top left: the Town Hall and St Laurence's Church, the Maiwand Lion, the Town Centre skyline from the Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading Abbey and The Oracle
From top left: the Town Hall and St Laurence's Church, the Maiwand Lion, the Town Centre skyline from the Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading Abbey and The Oracle
A Deo et Regina
With God and Queen
Reading shown within Berkshire
Reading shown within Berkshire
Coordinates: 51°27′15″N 0°58′23″W / 51.45417°N 0.97306°W / 51.45417; -0.97306
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
RegionSouth East England
Ceremonial countyBerkshire
Historic countyBerkshire
(south of River Thames)
(north of River Thames)
Admin HQReading
Settled871 or earlier
Town Status1086 or earlier
 • TypeUnitary authorities
 • Governing bodiesReading Borough Council
West Berkshire Council (suburbs)
Wokingham Borough Council (suburbs)
 • MayorCllr Tony Jones[1]
 • Deputy MayorCllr Sarah Hacker
 • LeaderCllr Jason Brock [2]
 • Deputy LeaderCllr Liz Terry[2]
200 ft (61 m)
 (2005 est.)
 • Town & Borough162,700 (Ranked 115th)
 • Density10,430/sq mi (4,026/km2)
 • Urban
318,014 (Ranked 20th in England and Wales)
 • Ethnicity
74.8% White (65.3% White British)
9.1% South Asian
6.7 % Black
3.9% Mixed Race
4.5% Chinese and Other Asian
0.9% Other
Time zoneUTC+0 (GMT)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (BST)
Postal Code
Area code0118
Grid Ref.SU713733
ONS code00MC (ONS)
E06000038 (GSS)
ISO 3166-2GB-RDG



There is a large statue of a lion in Forbury Gardens, and local legend has it that the sculptor killed himself by jumping off the top because he had sculpted the legs wrong. The lion is a memorial to soldiers from Berkshire who were killed in Maiwand, (Afghanistan) in a war in 1880.

Reading is the home of a school which used to be a Hospital in World War I and World War II. It is named Redlands Primary School.

Madejski stadium is home to the Reading Football Club whose nickname is "The Royals". They are also known as the "Biscuit Men". The stadium was opened on 22 August 1998.

Reading is the largest town in England. Of course, there are larger cities in England but Reading has not been granted city status and it doesn't have a cathedral. Also, Reading is home to the Oracle, a huge shopping centre and a large university named University of Reading.

Reading began life as a Saxon Settlement. Reading was originally called Reada Ingas, which means people of Reada. Reada was a Saxon leader in the area with his tribe in the 6th century.

The Normans built a wooden castle in Reading. It was later replaced by a stone castle. The king then demolished the castle in 1152 fearing it might come into the hands of his enemies.

Reading was an important centre in the medieval period, as the site of Reading Abbey, a monastery with strong royal connections

The Huntley and Palmer's biscuit factory was the biggest in the world in 1914 and one factory was built on Kings Road by George Palmer in 1846.

"The Blade" in central Reading is the tallest building in Reading. It is 86 metres tall. It is visible from many places in the town.

Palmer Park was founded by George Palmer and it has a statue of George Palmer in it. Palmer Park was built for his workers to rest and people still enjoy using the park today.

There is a very famous hospital called The Royal Berkshire Hospital. It was opened in 1839.

Lots of schools in Reading took part in "Beat The Street" in 2015.

Notable people


TV presenter Chris Tarrant (Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?) and comedian Ricky Gervais are from Reading, and also actress Kate Winslet, who has a road named after her. Musician Mike Oldfield is also from Reading. Tony Sullivan (local legend) is also a resident in the town. The town has two universities and is famous for its rock festival. Reading is home to Championship football and rugby teams.



  1. "Councillors and Committees | Reading Borough Council". Archived from the original on 2015-05-09. Retrieved 2015-06-09.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2023-06-23. Retrieved 2023-06-22.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. "The borough of Reading: The borough | British History Online". Retrieved 2020-12-07.

Other websites


  Media related to Reading, Berkshire at Wikimedia Commons