"BRADFIELD, a parish in the hundred of Theale, in the county of Berks, 7 miles to the W. of Reading, its post town, and 45 miles from London. It is situated in a beautiful country, on a small stream called the Pang, which falls into the Thames at Pangbourn. A monastery is said to have been founded here before the end of the 7th century; but nothing is known of its history. Bradfield now gives its name to a rural deanery, and is the centre of a Poor-law Union, containing the Union poorhouse. The living is a the diocese of Oxford, of the value with the perpetual curacy of Trinity Chapel annexed, of £788, in the gift of the Rev. T. Stevens, the incumbent. The church is dedicated to St. Andrew. It has been lately rebuilt. There is a chapel belonging to the Primitive Methodists. St. Andrew's College, established in 1849, stands near the church. It was endowed as a foundation school in 1859, and has recently been incorporated by royal charter. There are some charitable endowments, producing about £30 a year. Pordage, who distinguished himself as a follower of Jacob Boehmen, was rector of this parish. There are many residences of the gentry in the neighbourhood."
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.