Top 5 Historical & Rare Facts About Maidenhead

13th century Maidenhead bridge

Lying adjacent to the River Thames’ flow – Maidenhead is yet another famous market town of England with enriched English heritage and beautiful culture. It is currently situated in the county of Berkshire, surrounding the suburban villages of Holyport, Cox Green, Bray, Pinkneys Green, and White Waltham.

Here’s a list of the top 5 historical and rare facts about maidenhead that you probably didn’t know.

100 A.D Villa

sketch of a roman villa

The history of Maidenhead started from the 100 A.D when it was populated with Romans. One the things that make this century a historical one is the presence of a Roman Villa in Cox Green, near Maidenhead. This villa was discovered in the 1950s through aerial photography and excavated in 1959. It is one of the highly advanced and oldest villas of its times ever built in the world. The Roman Villa of Cox Green was used for several purposes such as agricultural exploitation, stocking barn, a manor etc.

Maidenhead Does Not Exist

Domesday book
Text from Domesday Survey 1086 where Elentone in the second Line can be seen

No one knew what Maidenhead as this name was never mentioned anywhere in the pre-10th-century books. However, it is indicated by the name of ‘Elentone’ in the Domesday Book of 1086 and described as a settlement held by “Giles’ having 6-8 villagers living with 4-6 cottages and one plough. This is the first ever recorded recognition of Maidenhead but not by its current name.

First Wooden Bridge

old wooden bridge sketch

After receiving recognition in the Domesday Book, Elentone (Maidenhead) established a small marketplace with few shops. Now the place was crowded with traders from nearby towns and villages. However, it was difficult for them to cross the river Thames to reach and therefore, the locals built the first wooden bridge to ease the travellers in 1250. This bridge doubled the popularity of the town.

Greatest Flood on Record

Old photo of maidenhead flood

Being situated near to the River Thames – Maidenhead had been a victim of several record-breaking floods, one which occurred in 1894 when River Thames was flooded and destroyed the meadows and villages in its surrounding. It was the most significant flood in the history till 1947.

Four Victoria Crosses

Victoria cross medals

During the first World War, Maidenhead was mostly destroyed, facing 900 casualties in the war. It was haunting more than devastation. Several soldiers from Maidenhead and Berkshire participated in the battle. After the war, six martyred soldiers were given with Victorian Crosses (highest award) for their contribution, four of them belonged to Maidenhead, Berkshire. These Victorian cross stones remind us how great the world war heroes were to step up for their country and fought till their last breath. Such bravery is hardly found today.

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