AskDefine | Define maidenhead

Dictionary Definition

maidenhead n : a fold of tissue that partly covers the entrance to the vagina of a virgin [syn: hymen, virginal membrane]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. The hymen.
  2. Virginity.


Translations to be checked

Extensive Definition

Maidenhead is a town within the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, in Berkshire, England. It lies on the River Thames and is situated west of Charing Cross in London.


Maidenhead's name, strictly speaking refers to the busy riverside area where the 'New wharf' or 'Maiden Hythe' was built, perhaps as early as Saxon times. It has been suggested that the nearby Great Hill of Taplow was called the 'Mai Dun' by the Iron Age Brythons. The area of the town centre was originally known as 'South Ellington' and is recorded in the Domesday Book as Ellington in the hundred of Beynhurst.
In 1280, a bridge was erected across the river to replace the ferry and the Great Western Road was diverted to make use of it. This led to the growth of Maidenhead: a stopping point for coaches on the journeys between London and Bath and the High Street became populated with inns. The current Maidenhead Bridge, a local landmark, dates from 1777 and was built at a cost of £19,000.
King Charles I met his children for the last time before his execution in 1649 at the Greyhound Inn, which is now a branch of the NatWest Bank. A plaque commemorates their meeting.
A significant river resort in the 19th century, Maidenhead was notably ridiculed in Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome:
''Maidenhead itself is too snobby to be pleasant. It is the haunt of the river swell and his overdressed female companion. It is the town of showy hotels, patronised chiefly by dudes and ballet girls. It is the witch’s kitchen from which go forth those demons of the river – steam-launches. The LONDON JOURNAL duke always has his 'little place' at Maidenhead; and the heroine of the three-volume novel always dines there when she goes out on the spree with somebody else’s husband."
With the railways beginning to expand in the mid-19th century, the High Street began to change again. Muddy roads were replaced and public services were installed — modern Maidenhead appeared. It became its own entity in 1894, being split from the civil parishes of both Bray and Cookham.
Maidenhead Citadel Corps of the Salvation Army was first opened in the Town in the mid 1880s. Maidenhead Citadel Band was soon founded in 1886 by Bandmaster William Thomas who later became Mayor of the Town. Maidenhead Citadel Band of the Salvation Army still takes an active role in the life of the town.
The town's football team, Maidenhead United, play at York Road, which is the oldest football ground in the world continuously used by the same team.


The town is part of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, and has a population of around 60,000. It was previously an independent local government borough. The current MP for the Maidenhead Constituency is Theresa May (Conservative). The mayor is Councillor Leo Walters (Conservative).


The Maidenhead urban area includes urban and suburban regions within the bounds of the town, called Maidenhead Court, North Town, Furze Platt, Pinkneys Green, Highway, Tittle Row, Boyn Hill, Fishery and Bray Wick; as well as suburbs in surrounding civil parishes: Cox Green and Altwood in Cox Green parish, Woodlands Park in White Waltham parish, and part of Bray Wick in Bray parish. Bray village itself is still just about detached. Immediately surrounding Maidenhead are to the east, on the opposite side of the river, the village of Taplow. A few miles further on is Slough. To the north the Cookhams (Cookham Village, Cookham Rise & Cookham Dean). Also in this area is the wealthy area of Pinkneys Green. These lie south of the Berkshire-Buckinghamshire border, which is formed by the River Thames (which then bends southwards to form the Maidenhead-Taplow border). To the south is the village of Holyport. Continuing by road to the South-East leads to the town of Windsor.
On 12 July 1901, Maidenhead entered the UK Weather Records with the Highest 60-min total rainfall at 92 mm. As of July 2006 this record remains.
Maidenhead is located in grid square in the coordinate system named after it.


Maidenhead is in England's 'Silicon Corridor' along the M4 motorway west of London. Many residents commute to work in London, or to the towns of Slough and Reading.
Maidenhead's industries include: computer software, plastics, pharmaceuticals, printing and telecommunications. The town is also a boating centre. The Maidenhead Rowing Club hosts the Maidenhead Regatta which, along with the Marlow Regatta and Henley Regatta, is often seen as a testing ground for olympic rowing athletes. Maidenhead has often seen winners go on to represent the United Kingdom at the Olympic games. Maidenhead was home to the conference that agreed on the Maidenhead Locator System standard.
The average house price in The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead is the highest in the UK BBC news report, February 2007.

Community facilities

Research by the New Economics Foundation rated Maidenhead as an example of a clone town. It offers reasonable High Street shopping facilities including Nicholson's Centre, a shopping centre on the site of Nicholson's brewery. The town also offers an 8-screen Odeon multiplex cinema, a leisure centre (with swimming pool), called the Magnet, and a bowling alley. There is also Norden Farm Centre for the Arts (an arts centre including a theatre). Help with shopping in the town centre can be provided by the Shopmobility service on the ground floor of Nicholson's car park.


Each year youths from the four towns and Berlin Steglitz (twinned with Bad Godesberg) compete against one another in sports such as volleyball, football, athletics and swimming in the Twin Towns Sports Competition, hosted in turn by each of the five towns. In Maidenhead town centre there are roads named after each of the twin towns (Bad Godesberg Way, Frascati Way and St Clouds Way).
In addition Windsor and Maidenhead are twinned with:

Notable people

A number of notable figures can be counted amongst Maidenhead's current and former residents. The actress and sex symbol Diana Dors resided for much of her life in the town, in several properties, while the broadcaster Richard Dimbleby lived for sometime on Ray Mill Island.
More recently, the essayist and novelist Nick Hornby was educated at Maidenhead Grammar School (now Desborough School), as were children's television presenter and radio show host Toby Anstis, author and broadcaster John O'Farrell and the athlete Mark Richardson. The band The Furze (formerly known as Kid Galahad) are from the town and are named after Furze Platt School which all the members of the band attended. The grunge rock band Numinous also hail from Maidenhead.
Maidenhead's riverside location has drawn many celebrities to move here, including artist and television presenter Rolf Harris, journalist and television presenter Michael Parkinson, and Red Dwarf actor Chris Barrie. All five Spice Girls are known to have shared a house in Maidenhead for a year preceding their rise to stardom, and Maidenhead's Redroofs Theatre School has produced Hollywood star Kate Winslet.
maidenhead in German: Maidenhead
maidenhead in French: Maidenhead
maidenhead in Dutch: Maidenhead
maidenhead in Norwegian: Maidenhead
maidenhead in Polish: Maidenhead
maidenhead in Portuguese: Maidenhead
maidenhead in Romanian: Maidenhead
maidenhead in Simple English: Maidenhead
maidenhead in Volapük: Maidenhead

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Platonic love, abstinence, allantoic membrane, amnion, amniotic sac, arachnoid membrane, bachelordom, bachelorhood, bachelorism, bachelorship, basement membrane, boyhood, celibacy, cherry, childhood, conjuctiva, continence, continency, eardrum, girlhood, hymen, intactness, maidenhood, membrana serosa, membrana tympana, membrane, meninges, meninx, misogamy, misogyny, monachism, monasticism, neurilemma, pellicle, pericardium, perineurium, pleura, pre-teens, serosa, single blessedness, single state, singleness, spinsterhood, subteens, tympanic membrane, tympanum, unwed state, velum, virgin state, virginity
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