• Chamber Events

  • Member Events

  • Member Offers

  • Join Now

  • Mailing List

About Maidenhead

A brief history of Maidenhead

The sounding Arch bridgeMaidenhead is a friendly and vibrant town near the River Thames, with a long history going back to the Stone Age. Until 1296, Maidenhead was known as 'South Ellington', due to its location just south of the Norman settlement of Elentone. Then, it was superseded by the name Maidenhead yet it was not until 1724 that the present day spelling was adopted.

Up to 33 variations of the name have been found in old records, including Maydenhith, Middenhithe, Maidenheath. It is generally agreed that in this context 'maiden' means new and 'hythe' means a wharf or landing place.

It seems likely that the settlement took the name of Maidenhythe from the new wharf or hythe that was erected alongside the wooden bridge, which provided the first Thames crossing on the main London to Bristol road. It was the bridge that brought prosperity to Maidenhead and put the name firmly on the map.

The expansion of the town began with the coming of the railway, and it grew substantially until today it is a significant town in the heart of the Thames Valley and home to many local and international businesses and of course great shops.