From Academic Kids

Template:GBmap Bracknell is a town of about 50,000 people (1991) in the Bracknell Forest, in the English county of Berkshire. It lies about 6 miles (10 kilometres) to the east of Reading. It is in Bracknell Forest borough. It is about 9 miles south west of Windsor, with Windsor Great Park inbetween. It is between the M3 and M4 motorways, and the town has two train stations (Bracknell and Martins Heron) on the Reading to London Waterloo line, operated by South West Trains. The town has four secondary schools, The Garth Hill Technology College, Ranelagh School (a Church of England school), Easthampstead Park and Brakenhale.

The Centre of Bracknell
The Centre of Bracknell

Bracknell is a former new town developed after the Second World War from a small market town. Very little of the original town was left. The location was chosen over White Waltham, an alternative possibility, because the Bracknell site avoided encroaching on good quality agricultural land. The town expanded beyond the intended size into farmland to the south. The town centre is a 1960s design, and in need of major regeneration. The Borough Council is working in partnership with the Bracknell Regeneration Partnership (Legal and General and Schroders) to regenerate the town centre.

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The Pub "The Red Lion" and the 3M Building

The most visible landmark in the town centre is Winchester House, formerly owned by 3M and informally known as the 3M building as it had the 3M logo in illuminated red letters in a prominent place at the top of the building. It is a twelve storey building which used to house the company's UK headquarters before being abandoned in 2004, and it can be seen from over a mile away.

The structure of the town is intended to be a series of communities around the town centre where shops and services are located in a pedestrianised area within a ring road. The estates are known as Great Hollands, Bullbrook, Whitegrove (formerly Warfield Green, built in the late 1990s), Priestwood, Popeswood, Easthampstead, Wildridings, Harmanswater, Crown Wood, Birch Hill, Martin's Heron and Hanworth. Major expansion is again proposed to the west of the town (Peacock Farm) and a new neighbourhood on former Ministry of Defence land near the town centre (the Staff College site).

In 2004, research into smoking habits in Britain found that on average, Bracknell's inhabitants spent less money on cigarettes each year than people from any other area of the country.

A feature of a number of the estates that causes great confusion for outsiders and newcomers alike is the fact that streets only have names, not titles - in Birch Hill, Crown Wood, Great Hollands and others there is no "Road", "Avenue", "Street", just "Frobisher", "Jameston", "Juniper", "Jevington". The residential streets are named in alphabetical order starting in Great Hollands, with A's, through D's, such as Donnybrook, in Hanworth, J's, such as "Jameston" and "Jevington" in Birch Hill, and beyond.

Bracknell has a station on the electric railway line from London's Waterloo station to Reading, originally built by the London and South Western Railway and now operated by South West Trains. As a consequence of the frequent service on this line, Bracknell is now a major commuter centre with its residents in both direction (westwards to Reading and eastwards to London).

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