Reading is situated on two small eminences, whose gentle declivities fall into a pleasant vale, through which the branches of the Kennet flow till they unite with the Thames at the extremity of the town.
This town is situated in a fertile plain in the county of Berks, watered by the Kennet, which crosses the town near the centre. The principal streets in it are disposed nearly in the shape of the Roman Y, the angles branching off from the market place, and the foot of the latter being formed by the village of Speenhamland; they are spacious and well paved. Newbury was a new town founded upon the decay of Spince, a Roman station in the neighbourhood. The church is a plain Gothic stone edifice, which, with the tower, was built at the expense of John Winehcombe, generally called ‘Jack of Newbury.’
This town was formerly celebrated for its extensive manufactories of woollen cloth, especially when Jack of Newbury (not a fish, as the sign might lead one to think) led his company of stout tailors – all proper men – to the famous battle of Flodden Field; but a present scarcely anything but serge is made. It has a considerable traflic in malt by the Kennet and Avon Canal.
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Old capital of the British Belgoe, county town of Hampshire, a bishop’s see, and parliamentary borough; stands among round chalk hills, sloping down to the Itchen.
Delightfully situated on a sloping bank of the Thames, amid extensive beech woods.