Berkshire

 

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Berkshire: 51.465986, -1.281401

Berkshire (abbreviated Berks) is a county of south east England, located to the west of London. The county is one of the oldest in England. It may date from the 840s, the probable period of the unification of "Sunningum" (East Berkshire) and "Ashdown" (the Berkshire Downs, probably including the Kennet Valley). The county is first mentioned by name in 860.

It has been known as the Royal County of Berkshire since at least the nineteenth century due to the presence of Windsor Castle and was recognised as such by the Queen in 1957. The county borders the counties of Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Greater London, Surrey, Wiltshire and Hampshire. In 1974, the towns of Abingdon, Didcot and Wantage were transferred to Oxfordshire, Slough was gained from Buckinghamshire and the separate administration of Reading ended.

Historically, Berkshire had a number of traditional dairy farming areas and has been famous for its cheese production for centuries. Nowadays, Reading and Bracknell have a significant involvement in the information technology industry and Newbury is home to the world headquarters of the mobile network operator, Vodafone as well as the pharmaceutical company, Bayer AG.

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