Berkshire antique map from ‘Curiosities of Great Britain. England and Wales Delineated. Historical, Entertaining & Commercial, Alphabetically Arranged by Thomas Dugdale, Antiquarian. Assisted by William Burnett.’ (Dugdale was a professional artist, whilst Burnett was a civil engineer by profession.) Together they produced a series of steel engraved prints of English and Welsh architectural and topographical features, together with County Maps. The county maps were drawn and engraved by Joshua Archer of Pentonville, London. Included in the maps was a considerable amount of information including: the ‘hundreds’ and ‘wapentakes (divisions within a county), county towns, market towns, villages and hamlets, country seats and parks, canals, turnpike roads, cross roads, rail roads built and planned, stations, rivers and water courses, woods and plantations, polling places for the county, boundaries of counties, hundreds and boroughs, together with distances between towns and the capital city, London. Each map was hand-coloured at the time.
Berkshire abbreviated Berks, in the 17th century sometimes spelled “Barkeshire” as it is pronounced) is a county in south east England, west of London. It was recognised as the Royal County of Berkshire because of the presence of Windsor Castle by the Queen in 1957 and letters patent issued in 1974. Berkshire is a county of historic origin and is a home county, a ceremonial county and a non-metropolitan county without a county council. Berkshire County Council was the main county governance from 1889 to 1998 except for the separately administered County Borough of Reading.