Theale, Berkshire

Theale, Berkshire

infobox UK place

static_image_caption= Theale High Street
country = England
official_name = Theale
civil_parish = Theale
unitary_england = West Berkshire
lieutenancy_england = Berkshire
region = South East England
constituency_westminster = Reading West
os_grid_reference = SU641713
latitude = 51.437
longitude = -1.077

Theale is a large village and civil parish in the English county of Berkshire. The village has many of the attributes of a small town, with a high street lined with shops, pubs and restaurants. The name Theale is pronounced to rhyme with "peel".


Theale is located convert|5|mi|km|lk=on west of the centre of the large town of Reading and is separated from the suburbs of that town by the M4 motorway. The smaller town of Thatcham is 9.5 miles (15 km) to the west. The town is located on the old Bath Road, which crosses the motorway here at junction 12 ("Reading West"). Theale railway station is near the centre of the village and is served by local services from Reading to Newbury,Great Bedwyn and two weekday long distance services to Exeter and Taunton.


Theale owes much of its past and present prosperity to its good road communications links. In the pre-railway era, the village was an important staging post on the old Bath Road, as witnessed by the number of old pubs to be found on its High Street, and the former brewery that served them. One local legend claims that Theale got its name, "The Ale" from when it was the first staging post out of London along the Bath Road. Another claims that the village once held the record for having the most Public Houses in the smallest area - and indeed at one time the village was home to at least nine (The Bull (formerly The Wheel of Fortune), The Falcon, The Angel (now gone, once on the site of the old United Reform Church chapel, now itself replaced by flats), The Crown, The Red Lion, The Lamb, The Volunteer, The Railway Arms (now gone, once opposite the station car park) and The Thatcher's Arms). Most likely neither story is true. The name possibly derives from an original meaning of "crossing over water".

Today the proximity of Reading and the motorway junction has attracted a number of distribution companies and offices; to the east of the village centre in "Arlington Business Park". The same advantages have brought significant amounts of new housing to the village.

The motorway has had another influence on Theale, in that the land it sterilises provides an effective and obvious psychological boundary between the village and the suburbs of Reading.


Theale is a civil parish with an elected parish council. The civil parish formerly stretched further to the east, but in 2000 that part that was to the east of the M4 motorway was split off to become Holybrook parish. Following this change, the parish is bordered by the parishes of Tidmarsh with Sulham, Tilehurst, Holybrook, Burghfield, Sulhamstead and Englefield.cite web | url = | title = Election Maps | publisher = Ordnance Survey | accessdate = 2008-02-27]

Theale parish falls within the area of the unitary authority of West Berkshire and both the parish council and the unitary authority are responsible for different aspects of local government. Theale forms part of the Reading West parliamentary constituency.cite web | url = | title = Election Maps | publisher = Ordnance Survey | accessdate = 2008-02-27]

Historically, Theale was part of the parish of Tilehurst.fact|date=February 2008


* Theale featured in the film "The Borrowers". The Old Brewery was used during the scenes when the two borrower children escape from their home.cite web | url = | title = The Borrowers | publisher = The Internet Movie Database | accessdate = 2008-02-27]
* The village High Street was also used to film sequences for the 2004 film "The Lazarus Child".cite web | url = | title = The Lazarus Child | publisher = The Internet Movie Database | accessdate = 2008-02-27]
* Singer-songwriter John Martyn's highly influential 1977 album "One World" was recorded across a lake of a house in Theale.cite web | url = | title = All about John Martyn Webpage | publisher = John Hillarby | accessdate = 2008-02-27]


Today, Theale's main sporting successes come from local side Theale Tigers who run, among others, football and basketball teams for boys and girls aged 5 to 18. The Theale teams are generally very successful in their relative age groups, and have thereby become renowned throughout the area, particularly their football sides.

During the 1990s Theale Green Sports Centre played host to the Theale Triathlons, Bananathon Duathlons and the Tuesday Trot 10k Running Series organised by Banana Leisure. This included Britain's first-ever "Novices Only" Triathlon. Over 38,000 competitors took part in more than 150 events with many of the world's top triathletes and duathletes competing, including Spencer Smith (triathlete), Scott Ballance, Stuart Hayes, Julian Goater, Ali Taylor, Jessica Harrison and others.

Theale golf club which is situated on the outskirts of the village and is a 18 hole par 72 course measuring 6395 yards. It is the home of the "Annual Handicapped Golf Classic" this competition is played on or around the shortest day of the year (usually 20 or 21 December) and the current title holder is Tim Foote of Southampton.

Food & Drink

Theale has restaurants, pubs and sandwich bars.


External links

* [ Theale Parish Council]

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