Maidenhead is a town within the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, in Berkshire, England. It lies on the River Thames and is situated 25.7 miles (41.4 km) west of Charing Cross in London.
Maidenhead's name, strictly speaking refers to the busy riverside area where the 'New wharf' or 'Maiden Hythe' was built, perhaps as early as Saxon times. It has been suggested that the nearby Great Hill of Taplow was called the 'Mai Dun' by the Iron Age Brythons. The area of the town centre was originally known as 'South Ellington' and is recorded in the Domesday Book as Ellington in the hundred of Beynhurst.
In 1280, a bridge was erected across the river to replace the ferry and the Great Western Road was diverted to make use of it. This led to the growth of Maidenhead: a stopping point for coaches on the journeys between London and Bath and the High Street became populated with inns. The current Maidenhead Bridge, a local landmark, dates from 1777 and was built at a cost of £19,000.
King Charles I met his children for the last time before his execution in 1649 at the Greyhound Inn, which is now a branch of the NatWest Bank. A plaque commemorates their meeting.
York Road, the oldest continuously used senior football ground in the world.A significant river resort in the 19th century, Maidenhead was notably ridiculed in Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome:
Maidenhead itself is too snobby to be pleasant. It is the haunt of the river swell and his overdressed female companion. It is the town of showy hotels, patronised chiefly by dudes and ballet girls. It is the witch’s kitchen from which go forth those demons of the river – steam-launches. The LONDON JOURNAL duke always has his 'little place' at Maidenhead; and the heroine of the three-volume novel always dines there when she goes out on the spree with somebody else’s husband." With the railways beginning to expand in the mid-19th century, the High Street began to change again. Muddy roads were replaced and public services were installed — modern Maidenhead appeared. It became its own entity in 1894, being split from the civil parishes of both Bray and Cookham.
Maidenhead Citadel Corps of the Salvation Army was first opened in the Town in the mid 1880s. Maidenhead Citadel Band was soon founded in 1886 by Bandmaster William Thomas who later became Mayor of the Town. Maidenhead Citadel Band of the Salvation Army still takes an active role in the life of the town.
The town's football team, Maidenhead United, play at York Road, which is the oldest football ground in the world continuously used by the same team.
The town is part of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, and has a population of around 60,000. It was previously an independent local government borough. Character
Maidenhead is in England's 'Silicon Corridor' along the M4 motorway west of London. Many residents commute to work in London, or the towns of Slough and Reading.
The average house price in The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead is the highest in the UK BBC news report, February 2007.
The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead last year set up the Partnership for the Regeneration of Maidenhead (PRoM), which has just (October 2008) launched a comprehensive 20 Year Vision and Action Plan for rejuvenating the town centre. Launch of the plan cooincides with confirmation by central government that Maidenhead will be the western terminus of the new CrossRail project. PRoM's plans highlight five key developments which will help shape the town for the future — a large new retail triangle at Queen Street/King Street, an upgraded transport interchange, relocation of the football and bowls clubs, linking Kidwells Park into the High Street and restoring the old waterway as an attractive feature and amenity in the town centre.