Newbury is a town in Berkshire, United Kingdom with a population of around 141,000. It lies on the River Kennet, about 15 miles due west of Reading.
Historically, the town's economic foundation was the cloth trade. This is reflected in the person of the fourteenth century cloth magnate Jack O'Newbury and the later tale of the Newbury Coat. The latter was the outcome of a bet as to whether a gentleman's suit could be produced by the end of a day from wool taken from the sheep's back earlier the same day.
Newbury was the site of two English Civil War battles in 1643 and 1644.
The town's location at the intersection of the routes from London to Bristol and from Southampton to Birmingham made it, for many years, a transport bottleneck. A ringroad was proposed and constructed between 1990 and 1998 despite massive resistance and a major environmentalist campaign. More than 800 arrests were made, making it one of the largest environmental conflicts in European history.
Previously, during the 1980's and early 90's, Greenham Common was the site of a female peace protest at a US Cruise Missile silo. At peak protesting times up to 30,000 women would be camped on the common.
Newbury is now mostly famous for having a rather good racecourse (home to the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup and the Juddmonte Lockinge). Also prominent in Newbury is Vodafone. Being the biggest mobile phone comany in the world means that a lot of the town is taken up with offices, stores and employees. Irritating the locals a lot.