- For other places named Berkshire, see: Berkshire (disambiguation)
Berkshire (IPA: or [ˈbɑːkʃɪə] ; sometimes abbreviated to Berks) is a county in the south of England, to the west of London and also bordering on Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Greater London, Surrey, Wiltshire and Hampshire.
It is also known as Royal Berkshire, and this title was made official with a grant in the 1930s. The county is one of the oldest in England, being reliably dated back to the setting of the county borders by King Alfred the Great of Wessex. Following the reorganisation of the counties in 1974, Abingdon (its former county town) and the Vale of the White Horse were transferred to Oxfordshire, Slough was added from Buckinghamshire, and Reading became the county town. On April 1, 1998 the county council was abolished and the districts became unitary authorities.
The county takes its name from a large forest of birch trees that was called Bearroc (Celtic for 'hilly') and was originally a transaction of land to King Cenwalh of Wessex. At this time, it only consisted of the northerly and westerly parts of the current county.
Places in Berkshire
Main article: List of places in Berkshire
Notable towns in Berkshire are:
Towns no longer in Berkshire are: