"MAIDENHEAD, a market town and municipal borough in the parishes of Bray and Cookham,county Berks, having separate jurisdiction, though locally in the hundred of Bray and Cookham, 7 miles N.W. of Windsor, 14 N.E. of Reading, and 26 from London, or 22½ by the Great Western railway, which has a station here. There is also a branch line to Oxford. The town, situated on the western bank of the Thames, is approached from the London road by a stone bridge of seven arches, built in 1772 at an expense of £20,000, to replace a wooden one of the reign of Edward III., for the repair of which a tree was allowed annually out of Windsor Forest. There is also a bridge of 10 brick arches, carrying the line of the Great Western railway across the Thames. With the exception of its river-front, the town is encircled by a fertile country, including the heights of Taplow and the dark belting wood of Clifden on the eastern bank of the Thames. Its ancient name was South Allington, or Elington, to distinguish it from North Elington, now North Town. It afterwards was called Maiden Hythe, of which its present name is a corruption. The first charter was granted in the reign of Edward III, for the purpose of keeping the bridge in proper repair; and, by a recent Act, the corporation were authorised to transfer the tolls received from vessels passing under the bridge to the traffic on the road over it." (More ...).
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, from Berkshire FHS, and from A Vision of Britain Through Time.