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
Reading is a large University town in the Royal County of Berkshire, situated approx. 40 miles west of London sited where the River Thames meets the River Kennet. Reading is one of the largest urban areas in the UK to not have city status & had been a strategic trading centre for many hundreds of years, being a major staging post on the Bath Road between London & Bristol. In the 18th & 19th century, Reading became a major manufacturing centre significantly benefitting firstly from the advent of the Kennet & Avon Canel then the Great Western Railway. Reading's famous industries became known as the '3 Bs' of 'biscuits, bullbs & beer' with Huntley & Palmer, Suttons Seeds & Simonds Brewery respectively being based in the area. Nowadays, Reading is a major commercial centre particularly for IT & insurance with many well-known international companies having their heaquarters in & around the town. Reading town centre is a popular shopping destination & boasts the huge Oracle shopping mall where most major retailers are represented. As well as the town centre itself, the Reading urban area has grown to incorporate a number of suburbs and other districts including Tilehurst, Purley-on-Thames, Caversham, Emmer Green, Whitley Wood, Earley & Woodley.
Reading enjoys excellent communication links, with the M4 motorway running to the south of the town with access from junctions 10, 11 & 12. The recently redeveloped Reading railway station provides a swift & frequent service to London Paddington in approx. 22 minutes. London Heathrow Airport is approx. 25 miles away. Although Reading relatively near London for commuters, the town is actually a net inward destination for comuters as fewer people commute out of rather than into Reading on a daily basis.
Reading School founded in 12th Century is one of the country's oldest schools. There are 6 other state secondary schools plus a number of notable public schools around the town. Reading College & Reading University provide further education with a diverse range of courses.
Sport & Leisure
The Madjeski Stadium is home to both Reading Football Club (The Royals) & London Irish Rugby Club. Reading FC formed in 1871 have been Championship winners in 2005-6 & 2011-2. Reading hosts a Half Marathon every year in March attracting some 16,000 competitors. Perhaps the town is most famous for the Reading Festival held over the August Bank Holiday; the largest music festival in the UK after Glastonbury.
Notable Past & Present Residents
- Jane Austen – Author
- Oscar Wilde – Poet & Playwright
- Sir John Madejski - Entrepreneur
- Michael Foot – Politician
- Chris Tarrant – Radio & TV Braodcaster
- Ricky Gervais – Comedian
- Richard Burns – Rally driver