Some wonderful things have come out of the Berkshire town
At first glance, the town of Maidenhead appears quite sleepy.
Mostly middle-class, affluent and with one of the strongest Conservative majorities in the country, it often features on lists about the “best places to live outside London”.
Ask people not from Maidenhead to name anything about it and they’ll probably be able to tell you the MP Theresa May was recently Prime Minister, and that’s about it.
However, there’s far more to Maidenhead than its MP, and digging a bit deeper shows some amazing things and people have come out of the Berkshire town.
We’ve taken a closer look at seven things Maidenhead gave to the world.
One of the world’s oldest Roman villas
The village at Cox Green dates back to 100AD, when the Romans took a shine to the area.
It was discovered by aerial photography in the 1950s, and dug up nine years later.
It is one of the most highly advanced and oldest villas discovered anywhere in the world.
Experts say it had various uses including agriculture, as a barn and then as a manor.
The world’s best restaurant
The Fat Duck has been in Bray since 1995.
It is world famous for its incredible and innovative dishes.
Owned by Heston Blumenthal, it holds three Michelin stars.
And in 2004 it was named the world’s best restaurant.
The biggest ever outbreak of Norovirus recorded at a restaurant
Unfortunately, this was also at the Fat Duck.
In 2004, more than 400 diners fell ill after eating at the restaurant.
Test later revealed it was probably caused by a shellfish which had been contaminated by human sewage.
One of the people affected was ITV football hosting legend Jim Rosenthal.
The last time King Charles I saw his children
A plaque is on the wall of the site of the former Greyhound Inn in Maidenhead to mark when King Charles I went there in 1647.
The King was due to be executed after being found guilty of high treason, but the leader of Parliament, Thomas Fairfax allowed him to say goodbye to his children.
That was at the Greyhound Inn, which later burnt down in 1735.
NatWest Bank stands there now.
Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s amazing bridge
Maidenhead’s railway bridge is the biggest in Europe.
It was built by the legendary Isambard Kingdom Brunel and contains two of the widest and flattest arches ever constructed from bricks.
Each is 128 feet wise and 24 feet high.
It was mightily controversial at the time, as critics thought it had a slight design flaw.
That flaw was that it would collapse into the River Thames as soon as a train went over it.
It’s 778 feet long, making it the biggest in Europe.
The first train went over it (successfully) in April 1839.
The bridge is also known as Maidenhead Viaduct and The Sounding Arch.
Thanks to Maidenhead Heritage for the information .
The Spice Girls
The enormously successful girl band of the 1990s spent their very early days living in a house in Maidenhead.
None of them are from the town, but Mel B, Mel C, Victoria, Geri and Emma all lived in an unremarkable house in Boyn Hill Road.
We wonder what the neighbours made of it.
The careers of Kate Winslet, Dani Harmer and Kris Marshall
Kate Winslet is famously from Reading, but she cut her teeth as a young actress at the famous Redroofs School for the Performing Arts in Maidenhead.
The skills seen in films like The Reader, Titanic and The Holiday were honed at the school.
Dani Harmer is one of Bracknell’s success stories.
The actress was Tracey Beaker in BBC One’s very successful show.
Kris Marshall is best known for his role in the Death in Paradise drama, and as the dopey son in the long-running sitcom My Family.
They are also among the Redroofs’ famous alumni.
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