"BURGHFIELD, a parish in the hundred of Theale, in the county of Berks, 4 miles to the S.W. of Reading, its post town. It is pleasantly situated on the banks of the river Kennet, near the Hungerford branch of the Great Western railway. The Rennet is crossed by a very old bridge. A stratum of sand with cockle shells was discovered some time since at Hose Hill, several yards below the surface. The parish contains a tract of common the diocese of Oxford, of the annual value of £700, in the patronage of the Earl of Shrewsbury. The church is dedicated to St. Mary. It is an ancient building, and has a wooden monument to a crusader. There are charitable endowments for the poor, producing about £20 per annum."
From The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland(1868). Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003.
Other descriptions can be found from other periods in various trade directories covering Berkshire from the early 19th century onwards and from A Vision of Britain Through Time.