Town and administrative headquarters of Bracknell Forest unitary authority in southern England, 16 km/10 mi southeast of Reading; population (2001) 70,800. It was designated a new town in 1949; before 1998 it was part of the county of Berkshire. The headquarters of the Meteorological Office are here. Bracknell is one of the world's two global area forecasting centres which monitor upper-level winds and temperatures for all air traffic. Industries include engineering, electronics, and the manufacture of biscuits (Burtons).
Originally an Iron Age settlement, Bracknell is the site of the erroneously-named ‘Caesar's Camp’, an Iron Age hill fort dating from 800 BC. The town was first mentioned by name in a 10th-century Saxon charter. In the 1850s the local economy was boosted by the rise of the TLB brick-making company, which at its peak produced 12 million bricks annually.
South Hill Park (1760), a Georgian mansion, was home to former British prime minister George Canning from 1807 to 1827. From 1989 it has housed one of the country's largest arts centres.