BERKSHIRE, Cassell's Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland, 1899
Transcribed by Paul Brazell ©2005
"Berkshire, an inland county of England, on the south bank of the River Thames, having Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire on the north, Hampshire on the south, Surrey on the south-east, and Wiltshire on the west. Berkshire is irregular in shape, with an extreme length of  miles from east to west, and an extreme breadth of 30 miles from north to south, and an area of 462,210 acres. There is a chalk ridge running through the county, joining the Chiltern Hills and the Marlborough Downs...
The county has three parliamentary divisions (returning each one member), seven municipal boroughs, twenty hundreds, and one hundred and ninety-three parishes...
The historic castle and royal borough of Windsor require a special notice. Berkshire had a great share in the [English] Civil War, two battles having been fought at Newbury, Reading having been besieged, and attacks made on Windsor Castle, Abingdon and Donnington. There are many ancient churches with good examples of Norman and later architectural periods, and mitred Benedictine abbots lived at Reading and Abingdon respectively."