In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Wokingham like this:
WOKINGHAM, or Oakingham, a town, a parish, a sub-district, and a district, in Berks. The town stands on the London and Reading railway, at the junction of the line to Red Hill, within the limits of Windsor forest, 7 miles SSE of Reading; gave the title of Baron to Prince George of Denmark, husband of Queen Anne; retained the ancient custom of bull-baiting till about 1840; is a seat of petty-sessions and a polling place; possesses a corporation, under an ancient charter, and not regulated by the new act; occupies an elevated and healthy situation; consists of several irregularly-built streets, meeting in a central market place; and has a head post-office,‡ a r. ...
station with telegraph, two chief inns, a town hall with lofty clock tower, built in 1860 at a cost of £3,500, a handsome old church, recently restored, another church in the decorated English style, with tower and spire 170 feet high, built in 1864, a Baptist chapel in the Italian Gothic style, built in 1861, a Wesleyan chapel, an endowed school with £44 a year, two other public schools, alms houses with £32, an hospital and chapel for 16 poor pensioners, at Luckley-Green, a workhouse , aggregate charities £430, a weekly market on Tuesday, and fairs on 11 Oct. and 2 Nov. Pop. in 1861, 2,404. Houses, 472.The parish comprises 8,141 acres. Real property, £16,733; of which £89 are in gasworks. Pop. in 1851, 3,752; in 1861, 4,144. Houses, 807. Bearwood is the seat of J. Walter, Esq.; and Marchfield House, of Mrs. Laws. Both the head living and that of St. Paul are rectories in the diocese of Oxford. Value of the former, £1,700; of the latter, £190.* Patron, the Bishop of Oxford; of the latter, J. Walter, Esq.The sub-district contains 6 parishes. Acres, 23,107. Pop., 7,807. Houses, 1,581. -The district includes Wargrave sub-district, and comprises 42,226 acres. Poor rates in 1863, £10,274. Pop. in 1851, 13,668; in 1861, 14,465. Houses, 2,925. Marriages in 1866, 99; births 452,-of which 22 were illegitimate; deaths, 277,-of which 86 were at ages under 5 years, and 13 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 698; births, 4,113; deaths, 2,475. The places of worship, in 1851, were 13 of the Church of England , with 4,478 sittings; 5 of Independents, with 962 s.; 6 of Baptists, with 1,070 s.; 2 of Wesleyans, with 240 s.; and 5 of Primitive Methodists, with 325 attendants. The schools were 18 public day-schools, with 1,353 scholars; 16 private day-schools, with 257 s.; 19 Sunday schools, with 1,343 s.; and 1 evening school for adults, with 40 s.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Wokingham has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Wokingham. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Wokingham and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Wokingham in Berkshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 22nd May 2013
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