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.
The inhabitants are principally engaged in the corn trade, some in agricultural tool making, and others in making windows, chairs, bricks, &c. Is interesting historically as the place where King Charles I. tried to negotiate with Parliament in 1645. It was also occupied by Oliver Cromwell, in 1647 – the Crown Inn replacing the old one where he held his head quarters.
In the vicinity are Swakeley’s (1½ mile), and a short walk beyond is Harefield, frequently visited by Milton; and crossing the Colne to Chalfont St. Giles, may be seen the house where I the blind bard wrote ins “Paradise Regained,” – returning by Denham, so well described by Davy, in his “Salmonia.”
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The seat of her majesty the Queen, and of her ancestors from the period of the Conquest. Eton College also is within a short distance.
Hampton Court stands on the north bank of the Thames, about twelve miles from London. Numerous sovereigns have made it their temporary abode; and the last who resided here were George II. and his Queen.