The opening of The Lexicon marked a kind of rebirth of the town, with the hoarding long synonymous with the centre torn down to reveal sparkling new shops.

But where, you may ask, did it all begin?

People have been living in the area since 10,000 BC, with burial mounds dating back to the Bronze Age and Caesar’s Camp, an Iron Age hill fort near The Lookout Discovery Centre, built in the Iron Age.

The first references to 'Braccan Heal' cropped up in the tenth century and referred to a deer reserve created by William I east of Loddon River in Windsor Forest.

In 1350 a Royal Hunting Lodge was built at 'Easthampsted Parke' for King Edward III, with Old Brecknoll and New Brecknoll first appearing on a map in 1607.

By 1847 Bracknell consisted of a long narrow street on a turnpike road, inhabited principally by small shop keepers.

Bracknell News:

High Street (from Bentalls) 1974 (Attributed to Charles Minchell)

It was not until the railway station opened in 1856 that Bracknell began to develop into a country town with a major brickworks opening in 1860, and a weekly cattle and poultry market starting ten years later.

New Towns were developed to help alleviate the housing crisis in London after the destruction of the Second World War.

Bracknell was chosen due to its central train line and surrounding forestry that could help form a community for its new dwellers.

It was decided that four neighbourhoods would be built, each with the amenities needed to survive in the town including medical centres, shops and community areas.

Construction of Priestwood, followed by Easthampstead and Bullbrook, began in the 1950’s, with Harmans Water following soon after.

Development continued later in the 1960’s; this received a less than encouraging reaction when it was declared the town was to double in size due to the success of the project.

Residents did not want to be surrounded by large residential areas, however the project went ahead and the planned population increased from 25,000 to 60,000.

Princess Square was added to the central shopping district of the new town when it opened in 1984 by Princess Anne.

The centre cost around £34 million to build and three of the original shops, Boots, Sainsbury’s and WH Smith still stand today.

Outline planning permission for the regeneration was granted to Bracknell Regeneration Partnership in 2006, who worked in tandem with Bracknell Forest Council to see these plans become reality.

A Compulsory Purchase Order was confirmed in 2008 which enabled the Council to acquire the remaining land required for the development.