Berkshire

Berkshire
Royal County of Berkshire
Ceremonial county
Flag of Berkshire.svg
Flag
Berkshire within England
Coordinates: 51°25′N 1°00′W / 51.417°N 1.000°W / 51.417; -1.000Coordinates: 51°25′N 1°00′W / 51.417°N 1.000°W / 51.417; -1.000
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
RegionSouth East
EstablishedAncient
Ceremonial county
Lord LieutenantJames Puxley
High SheriffMary Riall[1]
Area1,262 km2 (487 sq mi)
 • Ranked40th of 48
Population (mid-2019 est.)911,403
 • Ranked24th of 48
Density722/km2 (1,870/sq mi)
Ethnicity88.7% White
6.8% S. Asian
2.0% Black
Non-metropolitan county
Joint committeesBerkshire Local Transport Body
Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service
NUTSUKJ11
Berkshire numbered districts.svg
Districts of Berkshire
Unitary
Districts
  1. West Berkshire
  2. Reading
  3. Wokingham
  4. Bracknell Forest
  5. Windsor and Maidenhead
  6. Slough
Members of ParliamentList of MPs
PoliceThames Valley Police
Time zoneGreenwich Mean Time (UTC)
 • Summer (DST)British Summer Time (UTC+1)

Berkshire (/ˈbɑːrkʃər, -ʃɪər/ (About this soundlisten) BARK-shər, -⁠sheer; in the 17th century sometimes spelt phonetically as Barkeshire; abbreviated Berks.) is a county in South East England. One of the home counties, Berkshire was recognised by the Queen as the Royal County of Berkshire in 1957 because of the presence of Windsor Castle, and letters patent were issued in 1974.[2][3] Berkshire is a county of historic origin, a ceremonial county and a non-metropolitan county without a county council. The county town is Reading.

The River Thames formed the historic northern boundary, from Buscot in the west to Old Windsor in the east. The historic county therefore includes territory that is now administered by the Vale of White Horse and parts of South Oxfordshire in Oxfordshire, but excludes Caversham, Slough and five less populous settlements in the east of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead. All the changes mentioned, apart from the change to Caversham, took place in 1974. The towns of Abingdon, Didcot, Faringdon, Wallingford and Wantage were transferred to Oxfordshire, the six places joining came from Buckinghamshire.[4] Berkshire County Council was the main local government of most areas from 1889 to 1998 and was based in Reading, the county town which had its own County Borough administration (1888-1974).

Since 1998, Berkshire has been governed by the six unitary authorities of Bracknell Forest, Reading, Slough, West Berkshire, Windsor and Maidenhead and Wokingham. The ceremonial county borders Oxfordshire (to the north), Buckinghamshire (to the north-east), Greater London (to the east), Surrey (to the south-east), Wiltshire (to the west) and Hampshire (to the south).[5]

No part of the county is more than 8.5 miles (13.7 km) from the M4 motorway.

  1. ^ "Berkshire 2020/2021". High Sheriffs Association. Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  2. ^ ""The Royal County of Berkshire". Title Confirmed by the Queen". The Times. UK. 30 December 1957.
  3. ^ Berkshire Record Office. "Berkshire, The Royal County". Golden Jubilee 2002 collection. Archived from the original on 10 March 2007. Retrieved 22 April 2007.
  4. ^ Local government in England and Wales: A Guide to the New System. London: HMSO. 1974. pp. 1, 31. ISBN 0-11-750847-0.
  5. ^ "The Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Surrey (County Boundaries) Order 1994". Office of Public Sector Information. Archived from the original on 2 February 2009. Retrieved 14 June 2009.

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