Its population as of the 2001 census was 8,000,550; the most populous region. The highest point is Walbury Hill in Berkshire at 297m/974 ft. In common usage the area referred to by South East may vary.
The town name is Anglo Saxon in origin, and means 'land remaining after the draining of a pool'. In the Domesday Book in 1086 it was recorded as Merlaue, though previously it was known as Merelafan which would appear to be of Brythonic origin (afon or avon is Welsh for "river".
Marlow has been an important town for many years. This is because of its location on the River Thames, a major trade route from London. It has had its own market charter since 1324 at the latest but ownership of the charter has been lost.There is a small market (amounting to two or three stalls, of "back of the van" style traders) held on Wednesdays and Saturday mornings. As early as 1299 the town had its own Member of Parliament.
A number of memorials have been created to Betjeman's memory, including a window designed by John Piper at All Saints' Church, Farnborough in Berkshire, where Betjeman lived at the adjoining Rectory. There is also the Betjeman Millennium Park at nearby Wantage in Oxfordshire (formerly in Berkshire), where he had lived from 1951 to 1972 and where he set his book, Archie and the Strict Baptists.