Place:Tilehurst, Berkshire, England

Alt namesGrovelandssource: settlement in parish
Kentwoodsource: settlement in parish
Norcot Hillsource: settlement in parish
TypeParish (ancient), Suburb, Civil parish
Coordinates51.458°N 1.041°W
Located inBerkshire, England
See alsoReading Hundred, Berkshire, Englandhundred in which it was located
Reading, Berkshire, Englandoriginal town or borough of Reading where part of the civil parish of Tilehurst was located after 1911
Bradfield Rural, Berkshire, Englandrural district where the remainder of the civil parish of Tilehurst was located 1894-1974
Reading Borough, Berkshire, Englandunitary authority replacing town of Reading
West Berkshire, Berkshire, Englandunitary authority covering the remainder of Tilehurst
source: Family History Library Catalog
the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia

Tilehurst is a suburb of the town of Reading in the English county of Berkshire. It lies to the west of the centre of Reading, and extends from the River Thames in the north to the A4 main road in the south. The suburb is partly within the boundaries of Reading Borough 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 (formerly a hamlet) and a small rural area west of the suburb.

The 2011 census recorded 9,155 residents in the Tilehurst ward of Reading Borough, an area of 2.10 square kilometres (0.81 sq mi).


Wikipedia gives a summary of the ownership of the local manors of Tilehurst and Kendrick. This information can also be found in complete form in The Berkshire section of The Victoria History of the Counties of England, vol 3

the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia

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 Railway main line was built through Berkshire in 1841; Tilehurst's 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 County Borough of Reading in 1911.

In the 1920s and 30s, many new houses—-particularly semi-detached residences—-were built in Tilehurst. This gave the need for improved utilities; electricity arrived in the 1920s (only gas lighting was available in the area from 1906) and a new 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.


the following text is a condensation of a section of an article in Wikipedia

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. The 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 the village of Tilehurst—-with clay pits being dug on Norcot Hill in an area now known as The Potteries.

For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article Tilehurst.

Research Tips


  • GENUKI's collection of maps for Berkshire. For basic reference are the two online maps Berkshire Parishes (highly recommended) and Berkshire Poor Law Union areas. These locate the individual parishes and indicate the urban and rural districts to which each belonged. There are many other maps listed, some covering specific parts of the county.
  • Wikipedia's outline map of the unitary authorities, shown on many of their Berkshire pages, shows how the new divisions of government relate to the former districts. It has to be remembered that the county was reshaped in 1974 with the urban and rural districts of Abingdon and Faringdon and part of Wantage going to Oxfordshire, and the Borough of Slough (with Eton) coming in from Buckinghamshire. Every attempt is being made to indicate here in WeRelate the civil parishes, towns and villages for which these transfers occurred. Currently there are maps to be found on place pages that deal with civil parishes that transferred from Buckinghamshire into Berkshire. It is planned to provide maps within WeRelate for places that transferred from Berkshire to Oxfordshire--a much wider geographical area.
  • The extensive collection provided by Genmaps is provided free of charge online (currently offline, March 2016).
  • The Ordnance Survey has produced an up-to-date map of the boundaries of all the post-1974 districts throughout the country. This also shows the electoral constituency boundaries which are destined to change before 2020.

Online Historical References

  • Berkshire Record Office. The Berkshire Record Office [BRO] was established in 1948 to locate and preserve records relating to the county of Berkshire and its people, and anyone who is interested in the county's past. As well as original documents, catalogues and indexes, there is a library at the Record Office.
  • Berkshire Family History Society Research Centre. "The Berks FHS Centre can help you - wherever your ancestors came from. There is a Research Centre Library open to all."
  • West Berkshire Museum, Newbury, is housed in a building with an interesting past, but is currently closed for redevelopment. No information on their collections.
  • The GENUKI provision for Berkshire has been updated more recently than that for some of the other counties. A member of the Berkshire Family History Society is credited with this revision.
  • The FamilySearch Wiki on Berkshire explains the jurisdictions relating to civil affairs, parishes and probate (wills and testaments) for each parish in the county and also outlines when these jurisdictions were in existence. Alterations required to cover the post-1974 period have not been carried out for every parish concerned.
  • Brett Langston's list of Registration Districts in Berkshire will lead to specific parishes with dates.
  • Local History Online is a compilation of websites from Berkshire local history clubs, societies and associations.
  • The Berkshire section of The Victoria History of the Counties of England, in four volumes, is provided by British History Online. Volumes 3 and 4 provide an extensive history of the county, parish by parish, up to the end of the 19th century. There are local maps illustrating the text. Manors and their owners are discussed. Parishes are arranged in their original "hundreds"; the hundred for each placename in the Berkshire section of WeRelate will eventually be available.

Nineteenth Century Local Administration

English Jurisdictions is a webpage provided by FamilySearch which analyses every ecclesiastical parish in England at the year 1851. It provides, with the aid of outline maps, the date at which parish records and bishops transcripts begin, non-conformist denominations with a chapel within the parish, the names of the jurisdictions in charge: county, civil registration district, probate court, diocese, rural deanery, poor law union, hundred, church province; and links to FamilySearch historical records, FamilySearch Catalog and the FamilySearch Wiki. Two limitations: only England, and at the year 1851.

During the 19th century two bodies, the Poor Law Union and the Sanitary District, had responsibility for governmental functions at a level immediately above that covered by the civil parish. In 1894 these were replace by Rural and Urban Districts. These were elected bodies, responsible for setting local property assessments and taxes as well as for carrying out their specified duties. Thses districts continued in operation until 1974. Urban districts for larger municipalities were called "Municipal Boroughs" and had additional powers and obligations.

Poor Law Unions, established nationally in 1834, combined parishes together for the purpose of providing relief for the needy who had no family support. This led to the building of '"union poorhouses" or "workhouses" funded by all the parishes in the union. The geographical boundaries established for the individual Poor Law Unions were employed again when Registration Districts were formed three years later. In 1875 Sanitary Districts were formed to provide services such as clean water supply, sewage systems, street cleaning, and the clearance of slum housing. These also tended to follow the same geographical boundaries, although there were local alterations caused by changes in population distribution.

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Tilehurst. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.