|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Postcode district||RG30, RG31|
Tilehurst // is a suburb of the town of Reading in the county of Berkshire, England. It lies to the west of the centre of Reading; it extends from the River Thames in the north to the A4 road in the south.
The suburb is partly within the boundaries of the Borough of Reading and partly in the district of West Berkshire. The part within West Berkshire forms part of the civil parish of Tilehurst, which also includes the northern part of Calcot and a small rural area west of the suburb. The part within the Borough of Reading includes the Reading electoral ward of Tilehurst, together with parts of Kentwood and Norcot wards.
Tilehurst was first recorded in 1291, when it was listed as a hamlet of Reading in Pope Nicholas III's taxation.At this time, the settlement was under the ownership of Reading Abbey, where it stayed until the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Tilehurst became an extensive parish, which included the tything of Theale as well as the manors of Tilehurst, Kentwood, Pincents and Beansheaf. In 1545, Henry VIII granted the manor of Tilehurst to Francis Englefield, who held it until his attainder (and forfeiture of the manor) in 1586. The following year, Elizabeth I gave the manor to Henry Forster of Aldermaston and George Fitton. Forster and Fitton possessed the manor until the turn of the century, when Elizabeth sold it to Henry Best and Francis Jackson.
Over the space of five years, the manor passed from Best and Jackson to the son of Sir Thomas Crompton, then on to Dutch merchant Peter Vanlore.Vanlore built a manor house on the estate—Calcot Park. Throughout the 17th century the manor passed through the Vanlore family to the Dickenson family, before being purchased in 1687 by the Wilder family of Nunhide (builders of Wilder's Folly) for £1,075. Page and Ditchfield write that in the early 18th century the manor was also owned by the family of John Kendrick, albeit for a short period.
The manor subsequently passed to Benjamin Child, who married Mary Kendrick,heir of the Kendrick family. After Kendrick's death, Childs sold the manor to descendants of John Blagrave in 1759. The Blagrave family built the present-day Calcot House, which—according to one story—was made necessary by Child's eviction. After Child sold the estate to the Blagraves, he was reluctant to leave the house. The Blagraves were forced to remove the building's roof to "flush" him out of the building, thereby requiring a new building to replace the uninhabitable original house. The manor was retained by the Blagrave family until the 1920s, after which it served as the clubhouse for the estate's golf course and was later converted into apartments.
The manor of Kentwood was owned by Peter Vanlore, before passing through the Kentwood family (taking their name from the manor itself), the Swafield family, the Yate family, the Fettiplace family and the Dunch family.In 1719, the manor was divided between heirs. The manor of Pincents was named after the local Pincent family. Originally from Sulhamstead, the family owned the manor until the end of the 15th century. After this, it was owned by the Sambourne family before they sold it to the Windsor family. In 1598, the manor was sold to the Blagrave family; its succession through the family is identical to that of Calcot Park. In the 1920s, the manor was sold off and later became a wedding and conference venue. The manor of Beansheaf took its name from a 13th-century Tilehurst family. In 1316, John Beansheaf granted some of the manor's land to John Stonor. While it is not recorded how much was granted, it is likely that Stonor inherited the entire estate as the Beansheaf name did not appear in subsequent records.
In 1390, Ralf Stonor gave the manor to William Sutton of Campden and John Frank. Frank later returned his share of the manor to Ralf Stonor, after which the manor was retained by the Stonor family until the end of the 15th century. The manor left the Stonor family when John Stonor died with no heirs. It passed through his sister, Anne, to her husband—Adrian Fortescue.Some of the manor was later reinherited by the Stonors, though the majority was retained by the Fortescues until passing through marriage to the Wentworth family. In 1562 the manor was bought by John Bolney and Ambrose Dormer, after which it was passed into the family of Tanfield Vachell. The manor was inherited by the Blagrave family some time after 1600.
Throughout the 19th century, a number of changes came to Tilehurst. A national school was founded in 1819 to provide education to children not in private schooling.Theale became a separate ecclesiastical parish in 1832, and a separate civil parish in 1894. The Great Western Main Line was built through Berkshire in 1841; Tilehurst railway station opened in 1882. By 1887, the boundaries of Reading included parts of Tilehurst. In 1889 a large part of the parish was transferred to Reading, and further areas were transferred to the borough of Reading in 1911. In the 1920s and 30s, many new houses were built in Tilehurst, particularly semi-detached residences.
This gave the need for improved utilities; electricity arrived in the 1920s (replacing the gas that fuelled the area from 1906) and Tilehurst Water Tower was built in 1932.After World War II, Tilehurst—like many other settlements—was in need of new housing; from 1950, many houses and estates were built in the area. In the mid-1960s, a prominent Victorian character property, Westwood House with some five acres of open grounds was demolished as part of the ever pressing need for new housing. This site was positioned between Westwood Road and Pierce's Hill and had served well as a venue for occasional local social events.
The name Tilehurst comes from the Old English "tigel" meaning "tile" and "hurst" meaning "wooded hill".Alternative spellings have included Tygelhurst (13th century), Tyghelhurst (14th century), and Tylehurst (16th century). The present spelling became commonplace in the 18th century.
Tilehurst is divided between the civil parish of Tilehurst in the district of West Berkshireand the electoral wards of Tilehurst and Kentwood (where Tilehurst railway station is located) in the unitary authority of Reading. Education governance in Tilehurst is split between West Berkshire Council and Reading Borough Council as their boundaries run through the suburb. The parish is split between four churches—those of St Catherine, St George, St Mary Magdalen and St Michael.
Tilehurst is situated on a hill (approximately 100 metres (330 ft) AMSL), 3 miles (4.8 km) to the west of Reading. The land is steep to the west and south of the village; the gradient is smoother north (towards the River Thames) and east (descending towards Reading).
Much of Tilehurst was enclosed common land during the 18th and 19th centuries; as this land was developed with housing the commons were lost. Arthur Newbery Park is a surviving area of commonland. Similarly, Prospect Park was enclosed and established before major development of the area was undertaken. Tilehurst is bordered to the west by wood and farmland, to the north by other settlements (such as Purley on Thames and the river itself), to the east by Reading and to the south by the Reading to Taunton line, the M4 motorway and the River Kennet.
Tilehurst is centred around Tilehurst Triangle (known locally as "the village"), a pedestrianised area providing shopping, leisure and educational facilities.Other areas of Tilehurst include Kentwood near the railway station in the north, Norcot in the east, Churchend around St Michael's parish church in the south, and Little Heath in the west. Tilehurst has a Site of Special Scientific Interest just to the west of the village, called Sulham and Tidmarsh Woods and Meadows. Tilehurst has four local nature reserves called Blundells Copse, Lousehill Copse, McIlroy Park & Round Copse.
For Tilehurst Ward in Reading, the 2011 census recorded 9,185 residents in the ward and an area of 2.10 square kilometres (0.81 sq mi). In the 2001 census there were 14,683 residents in the parish of Tilehurst Without.
Until the late 19th century, the majority of working men in Tilehurst were employed in farming or similar agricultural work.The main industry associated with Tilehurst, however, was the manufacture of tiles. This industry was present in the district until recent times. The 1881 UK census listed a number of men as being employed as brickmen in kilns in the area. Written evidence of brickwork can be traced to the 1600s, but with the peak of production at around 1885. Kilns were established at Grovelands and Kentwood—both to the east of the settlement—with clay pits being dug on Norcot Hill in an area now known as The Potteries.
An overhead cable was used to transport the clay-filled buckets between the pits and the kiln across Norcot Road; 1.5 miles (2.4 km) away. The cable was also included on the 1940s Ordnance Survey New Popular Edition maps, labelled as an "aerial ropeway". An 1883 Ordnance Survey map of Berkshire shows a number of kilns in the Grovelands area (on the present-day Colliers Way estate) and one in Norcot near the present-day Lawrence Road. The latter was more specifically named in the 1899 Pre-WWII 1:2,500 scale Berkshire map as "Norcot Kiln, Brick and Tile Works". By the 1920s, Tilehurst Potteries had been formally established at Kew Kiln on Kentwood Hill. By the 1960s, clay business had waned and the pits were closed in 1967.this was shown on a 1942 map of the area as an "aerial cable" running from the clay pit in Kentwood to Grovelands works approximately
The architecture of Tilehurst ranges from 19th century thatched cottagesto late 20th-century housing estates. Victorian and Edwardian terraces (built using bricks from the Tilehurst kilns) are common in the area; streets such as Blundells Road and Norcot Road display this type of architecture.
As the area expanded, a huge number of semi-detached dwellings were built in the mid-20th century,in areas such as St Michael's Road (1930s) and on the Berkshire Drive estate (1950s).
Examples of unique architecture in Tilehurst include two water towers: Tilehurst Water Tower is a 1932 concrete building, open octagonal in design with arcading supporting a cylindrical drum;Norcot Water Tower is an 1890s brick building with tiered blind arcading.
The Mansion House in Prospect Park (19th century) is a regency mansion built in Portland stone.The north and south faces feature Doric and Ionic order porticos respectively.
Tilehurst has a horticultural societywhich holds a produce show annually in August. The village has few establishments for performing arts, as most are provided in Reading. An amateur dramatics society, the Triangle Players, is based in the village. A branch of the Allenova School of Dancing is also situated in Tilehurst. Tilehurst Square Dance Club draws dancers from Reading and beyond and has been operating since 1989.
Tilehurst railway station is located at the northern edge of the suburb. It is served regular Great Western Railway services between Didcot Parkway, Reading and London Paddington on the Great Western Main Line. Journey times are approximately 54 minutes to London, five minutes to Reading and 20 minutes to Didcot. Connections to the south and south-west via the Reading to Taunton Line and the Reading to Basingstoke Line are made by changing at Reading.
Reading Buses services 15, 15a, 16, 17 and 33 serve Tilehurst,connecting the village to Reading, Purley and Theale.
Tilehurst is bordered by two major roads: to the north by the A329 (connecting the village to Reading and Pangbourne) and to the south by the A4 (connecting the village to Reading and Theale).Non-arterial roads in Tilehurst saw a great improvement in the 1940s with the introduction of trolleybuses in Reading.
Tilehurst is served by two comprehensive secondary schools: Denefield Schooland Little Heath School. The catchment areas of King's Academy Prospect and Theale Green Community School also cover parts of Tilehurst.
Tilehurst is served by Brookfields School, a special school catering for students with moderate, severe or profound and multiple learning disabilities.
Primary education in Tilehurst includes Birch Copse Primary School, Downsway Primary School, Long Lane Primary School, English Martyrs' Catholic Primary School, Moorlands Primary School, Park Lane Primary School, Ranikhet Primary School, St Michael's Primary School, St Paul's Catholic Primary School, Springfield Primary School, Meadow Park Academy, Westwood Farm Infant School and Westwood Farm Junior School.
Tilehurst has a number of religious buildings covering numerous denominations:
Tilehurst does not have any synagogues, mosques or gurdwaras; the nearest are in West Reading,central Reading and East Reading respectively.
Tilehurst has been represented in numerous sports for over a century:
West Berkshire is a unitary authority area in the ceremonial county of Berkshire, England. It is administered from Newbury by West Berkshire Council.
Reading West is a constituency represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2010 by Alok Sharma, a Conservative.
Theale is a village and civil parish in the West Berkshire unitary area of the county of Berkshire, England. It is 5 miles (8 km) southwest of Reading and 10 miles (16 km) east of Thatcham. The compact parish is bounded to the south and south-east by the Kennet & Avon Canal, to the north by a golf course, to the east by the M4 motorway and to the west by the A340 road.
Holybrook is a civil parish, forming a contiguous part of Reading in West Berkshire and is a mixture of urban, suburban land with watercourses and flood meadows in Berkshire, England. The parish takes its name from the Holy Brook, a watercourse which forms its southern boundary and which is a corollary of the River Kennet. Its main settlements are part of Calcot those commonly known as Beansheaf Farm and Fords Farm, Holybrook and occasionally considered part of Calcot or Southcote which overlaps with this area.
Calcot, or Calcot Row, is a village in the West Berkshire unitary area of the county of Berkshire, England. Calcot straddles the historic A4 Bath Road and is between the hamlet of Horncastle, and Junction 12 of the M4 motorway.
Southcote is a suburb of Reading in the English county of Berkshire. Located to the south-west of Reading town centre, Southcote has a population of about 8,500. The settlement lies primarily between the London-to-Bath road and the River Kennet.
Sulham is a village in West Berkshire, England. The larger village of Tidmarsh is adjacent to Sulham on the west side, with Tilehurst on the east side.
Newbury is a constituency represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament from 2019 by Laura Farris, a Conservative. It was created by the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885 and has been in continual existence since then.
Reading Borough Council, formerly known as Reading Corporation, is the local authority for Reading in the county of Berkshire, England. Reading is a unitary authority with borough status. As a unitary authority the council has the powers of a county council and district council combined. Berkshire is purely a ceremonial county, with no administrative responsibilities.
Calcot Park is a country house, estate, and golf club in the English county of Berkshire. It is situated between Calcot and Tilehurst, suburbs of the town of Reading, and within the civil parish of Tilehurst. It is north of the Bath Road.
Norcot is an area of the suburb of Tilehurst in the town of Reading, in the county of Berkshire, England. It is also an electoral ward of the Borough of Reading.
Sir Peter Vanlore was a Dutch-born English merchant, jeweller and moneylender in Elizabethan and Stuart England.
West Reading is a suburb of the town of Reading in the county of Berkshire, England. The area is served by Reading West railway station and has been served by it since 1906.
Pincent's Kiln is a 0.2-hectare (0.49-acre) geological Site of Special Scientific Interest situated between Theale and Calcot, on the western edge of the built-up area of Reading in the English county of Berkshire. It is a Geological Conservation Review site.
Kentwood is an electoral ward of the Borough of Reading, in the English county of Berkshire. It consists of the northern part of the suburb of Tilehurst, in the west of Reading, south of the River Thames. The ward is bordered by Caversham Heights and Battle wards to the east, and Norcot and Tilehurst wards to the south. To the west the ward is bordered by the reduced civil parish of Tilehurst in the district of West Berkshire which is the remainder of the larger ancient parish, before the expansion of the Borough of Reading. The ward has schools and churches bearing a Tilehurst, rather than Reading name.
Tilehurst is an electoral ward of the Borough of Reading, in the English county of Berkshire. It forms part of the larger Reading suburb of Tilehurst, which also includes parts of the borough's Kentwood and Norcot wards, together with the civil parish of Tilehurst Without that is outside the borough boundary in the district of West Berkshire. The ward is bordered, in clockwise order, by Norcot ward, Tilehurst Without civil parish and Kentwood ward. It lies entirely within the Reading West parliamentary constituency.
Tilehurst or Tilehurst Without is a civil parish in the district of West Berkshire, in the county of Berkshire, England. It includes part of the Reading suburb of Tilehurst that lies outside the Reading Borough boundary, together with the northern part of the adjoining suburb of Calcot, and a small rural area west of the two suburbs.