Twyford is a large village/small town and civil parish in the English county of Berkshire. It is situated in the heart of the Thames Valley on the A4 between Reading and Maidenhead, close to Henley-on-Thames and Wokingham. The area to the west of London is normally called the Thames Valley, whilst east is called Thames Gateway.
Twyford has its own parish council, but is also in the Borough of Wokingham, and the ceremonial county of Berkshire. Before this it was in Wokingham Rural District and the hundred of Charlton. Before 1895, Twyford was part of the parish of Hurst, within the liberty of Broad Hinton. Between the 13th century and 1844, Broad Hinton was officially a detached part of Wiltshire.
The town's name is Anglo-Saxon in origin, and means double ford. It is a common name in England. Twyford does indeed have two fords, although one is now bridged.
William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania, spent the final years of his life in Ruscombe Fields, a property close to Twyford, and is remembered by a residential street named 'Pennfields'.
Twyford was primarily an agriculturally based settlement until the coming of the railway in 1838. However, its position on the Bath Road brought activity which was centred on the King's Arms, an important coaching inn. The opening of a by-pass in 1929 ended this connection, but by then the village had expanded with economic activity associated with the railway station, which is the junction for the Henley Branch Line. The greatest expansion, however, has taken place since the Second World War, particularly in the last 30 years, with the construction of two estates to the south of the village. This has effectively transformed it from a village to a minor town of over 6000 people, although it is still considered a village by many of its older inhabitants. The opening of a Waitrose supermarket in 2000 made Twyford the retail centre for the northern parishes of Wokingham Borough and ensured its continuation as a working community, rather than just a dormitory town.
Situated in the Thames Valley, it is 10 miles from the M4, M40 and M3 motorways and 25 miles from the M25. Twyford railway station is on the Great Western Main Line and served by trains between Reading and London Paddington stations. These transport links make Twyford very popular with commuters. The major town of Reading is 10 km (6 miles) to the west, with Maidenhead 12 km (7.5 miles) to the east and Henley-on-Thames 8 km (5 miles) to the north. London is 56 km (35 miles) to the east.
Charvil is a village in Berkshire, England a few miles east of Reading on the A4 road to Maidenhead, between Sonning and Twyford. The village is home to around 2,000 residents.
The area was mostly farmland until the 1950's and the population has increased significantly since then. Charvil is bisected by the new Bath Road (A4) which leads to the odd situation that the few village amenities are also split a small church on one side and a pub, village hall and "corner shop" on the other.
Although lacking the picture postcard beauty of nearby Sonning, it is a peaceful, pleasant village in an attractive setting. Cut off from the noise and commotion of Reading, it also isn't subjected to the noisy pub culture of nearby Twyford and enjoys a crime rate which is half the national average. The land between Charvil and Twyford is a designated nature reserve offering many attractive walks around a number of lakes (former gravel workings) and beside the river Loddon. Former residents include David Hamilton and Alan Titchmarsh.