Wokingham Market Place
DescriptionWokingham was late to be settled in comparison with other nearby towns, as it was always a heavily forested area. It appears it was first settled by Saxons travelling west from Woking, but there is no early record of it, until the church was built during the 1100s.
The real town building began in about 1220, when the Bishop set out numerous building plots on parallel roads, terminating in a triangular market place, where the Town Hall now stands. The right to hold markets in this space was granted, and this town became the centre for the Windsor Forest people during medieval times.
Much of the town centre is Victorian, but there are several exceptional older properties, many of them dating back to more prosperous times. Wokingham was known for its silk, its bell foundries and more latterly, brick making, and these trades brought immigrants, and money to the town. The first Guildhall was built on the Market Place in 1612, but this was demolished in 1858, and replaced by the fine building currently in use in 1860.
As with many towns, road traffic began to cause major congestion in the town centre. Early one-way systems became a problem, and in 2010 the local authority decided that a total revamp of the market place and road network was essential.
There have always been trees in Wokingham town centre – the town motto is E Glande Quercus (“from the acorn, the oak”) and the existing trees were causing pavement breakup and structural hazards. It was therefore obvious to include GreenBlue Urban when the new tree positions were planned, to ensure that the 6 new Capinius Betulus trees planted had the opportunity to attain species potential and provide large canopies in the future.
Working alongside GreenBlue Urban, the client Wokingham Borough Council ensured the project went ahead as per planning working closely with the main contractor Morgan Sindall and the installer Ideverde to ensure the 6 ArborSystem Tree Pits were installed with ease. These consisted of RootSpace 600, 2 deep, aeration, irrigation, RootStart Mycorrhizal Fungi Ullswater Tree Guards and custom Tree Grilles.
The results are spectacular – the backdrop of green canopy cover giving this historic market place a calm peaceful air, and an attractive setting for those who work, live or pass through the town centre.