Maidenhead

Reviewed and updated 26th January 2017

History

  • Maidenhead stands on the western bank of the River Thames and on the line of the old road west from London to Bath and Bristol.
  • The earliest recorded settlement was Elentone or Elington - a Saxon hamlet situated north of the present town.
  • A  wooden bridge was built over the Thames in the 13th century with the town centre about a mile from the river to escape flooding.
  • Until 1857 there was no parish church in Maidenhead and the population was served by the parishes of Cookham and Bray.
  • Positioned on the main road to the west, Maidenhead grew as its inns, trades and businesses served passing travellers.
  • In 1838 Brunel's spectacular arched bridge across the Thames brought the Great Western Railway to Maidenhead.
  • As coaching declined the trains brought new residents and more visitors to Maidenhead,  especially with the boating craze at the end of the 19th century.  Commuting to London and weekending  in Berkshire became practical.
  • Large houses and hotels sprang up near the Thames creating  domestic and service jobs.
  • By 1972 the Maidenhead bypass and M4 motorway had removed much passing trade from the town.

Location

OS Grid Reference SU890811 (Town Hall, St Ives Road, Maidenhead, SL6 1RF) Maidenhead stands on the A4 east of Reading, accessible also from junction 8/9 of the M4 motorway.

Local Government

Administered since 1997 by the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead - one of the six  unitary authorities that replaced Berkshire County Council.

Population

  • 1801 — 949 inhabitants
  • 1851 — 3,603
  • 1901 — 12,980
  • 1971 — 45,306
  • 2001 — 50,030
  • 2011 — 55,257

Additional information