"BASILDON, (or Bassildon), a parish in the hundred of Moreton, in the county of Berks, 7 miles to the N.W. of Reading. It is pleasantly situated on the south-west bank of the river Thames, on the Great Western railway. Two churches were in existence here at the period of the Norman Conquest, and the privilege of a market was granted to the town by Edward II. The living the diocese of London, of the value, with the curacy of Ashampstead, which is annexed to it, of £255, in the patronage of Sir F. W. Sykes, Bart., and C. Simeon, Esq. The church is dedicated to St. Bartholomew. There is a school with a small endowment. Basildon Park, about 3 miles in circuit, and containing much beautiful scenery, is the seat of the Sykes family.
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.