"WALLINGFORD is a market town, and ancient borough, both corporate and parliamentary, in the hundred of Moreton ; 45 miles W. by N. from London, and 13 S. by E. from Oxford--situated on the banks of the Thames, about 3 miles from the Wallingford-road station on the Great Western Railway... The name, "Wallingford," is said to be derived from Gaullen, or the Roman Vallum, both signifying a place surrounded by a wall or fortification--from which, with its ford over the Thames, is deduced its appellation... The malt trade once flourished here most prosperously ; for a number of years, however, it has been on the decline, yet there still remain some respectable establishments in that business. Wallingford comprises the parishes of St. Mary the More, St. Peter, St. Leonard, and All Hallows; the three first-mentioned only have churches... There are places of worship for Baptists, Independents, Weslyan and Primitive Methodists, and Calvinists. The land round Wallingford is in a high state of cultivation, very fertile, and, though rather flat, the general appearance of the country is cheerful and agreeable... The borough of Wallingford contained, in 1831, 2,467 inhabitants ; and at the last census (1841) 2,824."
[From Pigot & Co's Directory of Berkshire, 1844]
Other descriptions can be found from other periods in various trade directories covering Berkshire from the early 19th century onwards, from Berkshire FHS, The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868), transcribed by Colin Hinson and from A Vision of Britain Through Time.