Berkshire

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Berkshire

(bärk`shĭr, –shər, bûrk`–) or

Berks

(bärks, bûrks), former county, S central England. Part of the ancient kingdom of WessexWessex
, one of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in England. It may have been settled as early as 495 by Saxons under Cerdic, who is reputed to have landed in Hampshire. Cerdic's grandson, Ceawlin (560–93), annexed scattered Saxon settlements in the Chiltern Hills and drove the
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 and the birthplace of King AlfredAlfred,
849–99, king of Wessex (871–99), sometimes called Alfred the Great, b. Wantage, Berkshire. Early Life

The youngest son of King Æthelwulf, he was sent in 853 to Rome, where the pope gave him the title of Roman consul.
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, the county of Berkshire was abolished as an administrative entity in 1998 and divided into the unitary authorities of Bracknell Forest, West Berkshire, Reading, Slough, Windsor and Maidenhead, and Wokingham. Berkshire remains a ceremonial county under the Lieutenancies Act.

Berkshire

1. a historic county of S England: since reorganization in 1974 the River Thames has marked the N boundary while the Berkshire Downs occupy central parts; the county council was replaced by six unitary authorities in 1998. Area: 1259 sq. km (486 sq. miles)
2. a rare breed of pork and bacon pig having a black body and white points
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