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Slough is a large town in Berkshire, England, located 20 miles (32 km) west of central London (Charing Cross) and 19 miles (31 km) north-east of Reading. It is located in the Thames Valley, within the London metropolitan area, at the junction of the M4, M40, and M25 highways. In 2018, the population of Slough was 164,000 people.
The town is crossed by the A4 and the Great Western Main Line. Crossrail connects London’s outskirts to the city center.
Slough has one of the most ethnically diverse populations in the United Kingdom, attracting people from all over the country and the world for labor since the 1920s, which has helped shape it into a major trading center. In 2017, the unemployment rate was 1.4 percent, or one-third of the UK average of 4.5 percent.
Slough has the highest concentration of global company headquarters in the UK outside of London. Slough Trading Estate is Europe’s largest industrial estate in single private ownership, employing over 17,000 people across 400 businesses. The town is home to the headquarters of Blackberry, McAfee, Burger King, DHL, Telefonica, and Lego.
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Slo was the first spelling recorded in 1195. It appears to have first applied to a hamlet between Upton and Chalvey, roughly around the “Crown Crossroads” where the road to Windsor (now the A332) met the Great West Road. Upton is mentioned in the Domesday Survey of 1086, along with a wood for 200 pigs worth £15. King Henry III had a palace at Cippenham in the 13th century. Parts of Upton Court were constructed in 1325, while St Mary the Virgin Church in Langley was most likely built in the late 11th or early 12th century, though it has been rebuilt and expanded several times.
Stagecoaches began to pass through Slough and Salt Hill (later absorbed into Slough) in the mid-17th century, which became locations for the second stage to change horses on the journey out from London. Upton-cum-parish Chalvey’s population had reached 1,502 by 1838, with the opening of the Great Western Railway. For Queen Victoria’s convenience, a branch line from Slough to Windsor & Eton Central, opposite Windsor Castle, was completed in 1849.
Slough has 96 buildings that are on the National Register of Historic Place
St Laurence’s Church (Upton), St Mary the Virgin Church (Langley), St Mary’s Church (Upton-cum-Chalvey), Upton Court, the Kederminster and Seymour Almshouses in Langley, St Peter’s Church (Chalvey), the Ostrich Inn (Colnbrook), and King John’s Palace are all Grade II* listed buildings (Colnbrook)
Beech, Oak, and Linden Houses at Upton Hospital, as well as Slough railway station, are all Grade II listed structures.
In 1918, a large area of agricultural land to the west of Slough was developed as an army motor repair depot, where huge numbers of motor vehicles returned from the battlefields of the First World War in Flanders were stored and repaired. The Government sold the site and its contents to the Slough Trading Co. Ltd. in April 1920. The company (renamed Slough Estates Ltd) continued to repair ex-army vehicles until 1925, when the Slough Trading Company Act was passed, allowing the company (renamed Slough Estates Ltd) to establish an industrial estate. Slough attracted workers from all over the UK and abroad, resulting in spectacular growth and employment. Slough Town Hall was built in 1937 and was designed by Charles Holloway James and Stephen Rowland Pierce.
During World War II, Slough was subjected to a series of air raids, the majority of which occurred in October 1940 (the greatest number of people, five, died as a result of one on October 13th), and an emergency hospital treating London casualties was established in Slough. The 23 civilian lives lost in the borough area are accounted for by local air raid deaths and hospital deaths.
Following the war, several large housing developments arose to house large numbers of people fleeing war-torn London. The Slough experiment, a large-scale road safety trial, was held in the town between 1955 and 1957.
Slough is located 20 miles (32 kilometers) west of Charing Cross in central London, 2 miles (3 kilometers) north of Windsor, 5 miles (8 kilometers) east of Maidenhead, 11 miles (18 kilometers) south of High Wycombe, and 19 miles (31 kilometers) north of Reading. Slough is part of the Greater London Urban Area and shares borders with the London Boroughs of Hillingdon and Hounslow. Heathrow Airport is a 5-mile drive away. Uxbridge, to the northeast, and Beaconsfield, to the north, are nearby towns.
The majority of what is now Slough was historically part of Buckinghamshire. The town grew as a result of the growth and amalgamation of villages along the Great West Road. Slough has grown significantly over the years, incorporating a number of different villages. Chalvey, Cippenham, Colnbrook, Langley, Poyle, Upton, and Wexham are among the original villages that are now Slough suburbs.
Brands Hill, Britwell, Huntercombe, Manor Park, Salt Hill, Upton Lea, and Windsor Meadows are among the named communities. The urban area merges with the parishes of Burnham, a small area of Taplow near Cippenham, Farnham Royal and Stoke Poges, which remain in Buckinghamshire, and Datchet, which is also in Berkshire. Eton is separated from Slough by the Jubilee River and green space (primarily the college playing fields), and the two areas used to form the Eton birth, marriage, and death registration district.