Tilehurst is a village situated on a hill about three miles to the west of Reading in the Royal County of Berkshire, bordered by the RiverThames to the north & the River Kennet to the south. The name Tilehurst is thought to mean ‘a wooded hill where tiles are made’ & the area had a thriving brick and tile industry from around mid 1600's until around the mid 1960's. There has been a settlement in the area for about 900 years.
In the early 20th Century, Tilehurst became absorbed into the Borough of Reading & was still a small village until after WW2 when much housing building commenced, particularly in the 1950s & 1960s. Since then, there have been many new housing developments making Tilehurst nowadays a suburb of Reading with a population of around 16,000 in an area of around 11 square miles.
The ‘centre’ of Tilehurst is known as The Triangle; a small village green with a war memorial & a paved area with shops one side. School Road is the main road running through the village centre, lined with numerous small shops, local businesses, 2 popular local pubs, Park Lane primary school, local library & Methodist church.
Tilehurst has a well known & distintive landmark of a large Water Tower of open octagonal design, built in the early 1930s & which can be seen from many miles away. Other notable buildings include St. Michael's church in New Lane Hill, parts of which date from 13th century.
Tilehurst enjoys excellent communication links and has been key to its popularity for many years. The M4 motorway Junction 12 (Theale) is around 2 miles to the south, providing access to London eastbound and Wales westbound. Both the A4 Bath Road & the A329 Oxford Road border Tilehurst & commuters in particular find Tilehurst railway station very convenient, being on the Great Western mailine.
Journey times are only approximately 5 minutes to nearby Reading and Oxford a little further at around 35 minutes. Reading to the capital's 'London Paddington' is just a short 22 minutes away.
Tilehurst is split geographically between Reading Brough Council & West Berkshre Council & each area has their own primary & comprehensive secondary school catchments. The secondary schools are Prospect School for students withing Reading Borough & Little Heath School, Denefield School, & Theale Green Community School for West Berkshire..
Numerous smaller primary & infant schools cover the area including faith schools & special schools catering for students with learning difficulties. .
For over a century now, Tilehurst has been strongly represented in many different sports. There has been a Tilehurst Cricket Club from at least 1880. Currently Theale and Tilehurst Cricket Club play in the Thames Valley Cricket League. Tilehurst boasts 3 three football teams—Barton Rovers, Westwood Wanderers & ladies team Tilehurst Panthers.
Notable Past & Present Residents
- Ayrton Senna - Formula 1 champion driver
- Jacqueline Bissett - Actress
- Bryan Adams - Musician
- Kate Winslet - Actress
- Mike Oldfield - Composer, musician & artist
- Sir Kenneth Branagh – Actor
- Neil Webb – England & Manchester United footballer