Template:Infobox England place with map UA Maidenhead is a town in Berkshire, England, and has a population of around 60,000. The town is part of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead. It lies on the west bank of the River Thames and is situated 25.7 miles (41.3 km) west of Charing Cross in London. Maidenhead's name originated from the wharf built on the river in 1297.
Maidenhead's industries include: computer software, plastics, pharmaceuticals printing, and telecommunications. The town is also a boating centre. Maidenhead was home to the conference that agreed upon the Maidenhead Locator System standard.
Maidenhead is recorded in the Domesday Book under the name of 'Ellington' in the hundred of Beynhurst; the modern town of Maidenhead, however, originates from South Ellington.
The busiest part of the district was along the River Thames near the Great Hill of Taplow, ideal for both trade and access to the sea. This Hill was known to the Celts as the Mai Dun, and its corresponding wharf as the Mai Dun Hythe. It is from this wharf that the area became known as Maidenhuth, eventually superseding the name South Ellington.
In 1280 a bridge was erected across the river to replace the ferry and the Great Western Road was diverted in order to make use of it. This led to the growth of Maidenhead: a stopping point for coaches on the journeys between London and Bath and the High Street became populated with inns. The current Maidenhead Bridge, a local landmark, dates from 1777 at a cost of £19,000.
- Maidenhead itself is too snobby to be pleasant. It is the haunt of the river swell and his overdressed female companion. It is the town of showy hotels, patronised chiefly by dudes and ballet girls.
With the railways beginning to expand in the mid-19th century, the High Street began to change again. Muddy roads were replaced and public services were installed — modern Maidenhead appears.
Windsor & Maidenhead are twinned with St Cloud in France, Bad Godesberg in Germany, Frascati in Italy and Kortrijk in Belgium. Each year youths from the four towns and Berlin Steglitz (twinned with Bad Godesberg) compete against one another in sports such as volleyball, football, athletics and swimming in the Twin Towns Sports Competition, hosted in turn by each of the five towns. In Maidenhead town centre there are roads named after the twin towns in Germany, Italy and France (Bad Godesberg Way, Frascati Way and St Clouds Way) and subways painted in the colour of each country's flag.
Maidenhead offers reasonable High Street shopping facilities including Nicholson's Centre, a shopping centre on the site of Nicholson's brewery. The town also offers an 8-screen Odeon multiplex cinema, a leisure centre (with swimming pool), a bowling alley and Norden Farm Centre for the Arts (an arts centre including a theatre).
The (Brunel-built) Great Western Railway passes through the town, calling at Maidenhead railway station and offering convenient links to London and stations towards Bristol. Brunel's Maidenhead Railway Bridge is famous for its flat brick arches. Maidenhead Station also serves as one of the beginning of the branch line from Maidenhead to Marlow, and is one of the proposed termini for the London Crossrail scheme.
Surrounding Maidenhead are:
- to the east: on the opposite side of the river, the village of Taplow. A few miles further on is Slough.
- to the north: the Cookhams (Cookham Village, Cookham Rise & Cookham Dean). These lie south of the Berkshire-Buckinghamshire border, which is formed by the River Thames (which then bends southwards to form the Maidenhead-Taplow border)
- to the south: the village of Holyport. Continuing by road to the South-East leads to the town of Windsor.
Maidenhead Grammar School was converted into a (boys) comprehensive school in the 1970s, and renamed Desborough School. Maidenhead High School, similarly, became Newlands Girls' School. To the western side of the town is Altwood C of E Secondary School. Maidenhead is also home to St Piran's School, Claires Court School (boys), The College (girls) and Ridgeway private prep schools; as well as Furze Platt School which caters for junior to college level students and Courthouse Junior School.
A number of notable figures can be counted amongst Maidenhead's current and former residents. The essayist and novelist Nick Hornby was educated at Maidenhead Grammar School (Now Desborough School), as were children's television presenter and radio show host Toby Anstis, author and Broadcaster John O'Farrell and the athlete Mark Richardson.
Maidenhead's riverside location has drawn many celebrities to move here, including artist and television presenter Rolf Harris, journalist and television presenter Michael Parkinson, popstar Howard Jones and Red Dwarf actor Chris Barrie. Countdown's Carol Vorderman lives in nearby Pinkneys Green and children's television presenter Timmy Mallet and television personality Ulrika Jonsson both reside in Cookham. All five Spice Girls are known to have shared a house in Maidenhead for a year preceding their rise to stardom, and Maidenhead's Redroofs Theatre School has produced such renowned artists as Kate Winslet.
- The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead website
- A Maidenhead website
- Maidenhead Advertiser
- Windsor and Maidenhead Conservation Volunteers
- Maidenhead Travel Information on WikiTravel
- Die Stadt Bad Godesberg
- Berlin Steglitz-Zehlendorf
- Ville St. Cloud
- De stad Kortrijk
- Commune di Frascati
- Maidenhead Athletic Club
- Maidenhead Rowing Club
- Maidenhead Rugby Club
- Maidenhead United Football Club