Berkshire (Bark'shir), a midland county, bounded by Gloucester, Oxford, Bucks, Surrey, Hampshire, and Wiltshire. Its greatest length is 53 miles; its greatest breadth, 30; and the area, 705 sq. m., or 451,210 acres, nearly one-half of which is under tillage, one-fourth in pasture, and one-sixteenth in wood. Berkshire, which is one of the most beautiful of the English counties, lies in the valley of the Thames, and has an undulating surface, rising in some parts into hills, of which White Horse Hill attains 893 feet. The Thames winds 100 miles along the northern border of the county, whose other rivers are its tributaries - the Kennet, Loddon, and Ock. The Kennet is navigable for 30 miles. The country between the fertile vales of Kennet and the White Horse consists chiefly of sheep-walks; and along the Thames, and to the west of the Ridge Way, or Downs, it is principally dairy and pasture land. The chief crops are oats and wheat. 'Double Gloucester' and 'pine-apple' cheese are sent in large quantities to London. Swine are extensively reared. Berkshire is divided into 20 hundreds, 151 parishes, and 12 poor-law unions. It returns five members to parliament, one for each of the three divisions (Abingdon, Newbury, Wokingham), one for Reading (the county town), and one for Windsor. The county contains besides, the municipal boroughs of Newbury and Maidenhead, and the market-towns of Faringdon, Hungerford, Wantage, Wokingham, East Ilsley, and Lambourn. British and Roman ranains are numerous; of the old castles, the principal is Windsor; of monastic establishments, the abbeys of Abingdon and Reading. There are many Norman churches, erected in the 12th and 13th centuries. In 1836 Berkshire was transferred from the diocese of Salisbury to that of Oxford. Pop. (1801) 110,480; (1841) 161,759; (1901) 256,509. See Lieut.-Col. Cooper-King's History of Berkshire (1887).