The ruins of Reading Abbey and the Abbey Quarter

This page contains further links to websites and articles with information about the ruins and about the Abbey Quarter



Reading Museum's Abbey Quarter website gives an introduction to the Abbey ruins and Abbey Quarter. Abbey Quarter website
This is a comprehensive guide to what can be seen around the Abbey Quarter. The Friends of Reading Abbey guide
This tour leaflet was produced by the Friends of Reading Abbey as a tour around the Abbey Quarter. It takes into account the current closure of the ruins. The Friends' tour of the Abbey Quarter: Tour leaflet and Map
Reading Museum’s online collections website. Photographs of paintings and other images relating to Reading Abbey can be found by searching for ‘Reading Abbey’ in the search box in the top right corner Reading Museum Collections Online
The Reading Libraries website lists an extensive set of images and documents concerning the Abbey ruins, and many other local studies subjects. They can be viewed as follows: click on the link to go to the library website's main Search page. Enter in the search box the word(s) you would like to search on, eg "Reading Abbey" or "abbey ruins" and click the Search button. To view an illustration, click on the thumbnail icon for it.
The link defaults to searching on the full library catalogue. If you wish to look for photos and images only, click on the "Local illustrations" link in the left panel before carrying out the Search.
Reading Libraries website
The Corpus of Romanesque Sculpture in Britain and Ireland (CRSBI) website has many entries related to Reading Abbey. The links are to sites in or near Reading. The Search facility within the CSRBI website will find other sites - search for 'Reading Abbey'.

1. Reading Abbey

2. Abbey Mill Arches

3. St James Church

4. Barn Acre Cottage, Borough Marsh

5. Caversham Court Gardens

6. Yield Hall excavation

7. 35 London St.

8. St Laurence Church

9. St Mary the Virgin, Reading Minster

10. Reading Museum and Art Gallery

Wikipedia entry for Reading Abbey Reading Abbey in Wikipedia
The Royal Abbey of Reading: Paper given by Professor Brian Kemp, emeritus, Reading University to the XXIInd Colloquium of the International Reynard Society, July 2017. This transcription of the text was produced by John Painter and published by the Friends of Reading Abbey to mark the inaugural Professor Brian Kemp memorial lecture in March 2021. The Royal Abbey of Reading
Articles about Reading Abbey by John Mullaney. These cover a number of aspects of Reading Abbey:-

1. Reading Abbey and the Forbury: Maps, Surveys and Excavations. Description of the mapping and investigatory work on the Abbey ruins, from Speed's map of 1610 to the ground penetrating radar survey in 2016.

2. The Reading Abbey Chancel. Discussion of what is known about the appearance of the interior of the east end of the church of Reading Abbey and how the space was used. The document contains links to two other .pdf files, on pages 2 and 11. These files are included here under links "GPR survey: The East end" and "GPR survey: the Nave".

3. Notes on Reading Abbey's towers. Discussion of the possible design and height of the tower(s) of Reading Abbey, taking into account when the Abbey was founded and the appearance of other ecclesiastical buildings of that era. Two links: pdf file and Youtube presentation.

4. The Reading Abbey Coronation Stone. There are three links: the first is to a document in which John Mullaney describes this sculpted stone, one of a number of stones found at Borough Marsh Farm in 1949; the second link is to a 30 minute Youtube presentation by John Mullaney about the Coronation Stone; the third link is to a videoed talk on Youtube about the Coronation Stone recorded in 2020 between John Mullaney and the Mayor of Reading, Councillor David Stevens.

5. Analysis of the mortar of the North Transept. Discussion as to what extent the mortar in this part of the ruins is original.

6. Youtube presentation on "Reading Abbey: Its east end and the burial place of King Henry I".

7. The Reading Abbey History website. This is run by John and Lindsay Mullaney and covers various features of the Abbey such as its music, architecture and other historical aspects. The website includes information about the Hidden Abbey project and the Hidden Abbey Stones project (HASP).

8. Cluniac death rituals, likely to have been followed for the monks of Reading Abbey both during its time as a cluniac priory and after it became an independent monastery. Includes postscript written at the time of the Covid-19 pandemic during 2020.

9. A discussion of the Chapter House of Reading Abbey. Two links: pdf document and Youtube presentation.

1. Maps, Surveys and Excavations

2. The Reading Abbey Chancel
      GPR survey: The East End
      GPR survey: the Nave


3. Reading Abbey's towers  (i) pdf document (ii) Youtube presentation

4. The Coronation Stone  (i) pdf document (ii) Youtube presentation (iii) Youtube - talk with Mayor of Reading

5. Mortar of North Transept

6. The burial place of King Henry I

7. Reading Abbey History


8. Cluniac Death Rituals

9. Reading Abbey Chapter House:  (i) pdf file (ii) Youtube presentation

Youtube about Reading's Royal Abbey featuring the Mayor of Reading, Councillor David Stevens in conversation with John Painter, Secretary of the Friends of Reading Abbey. Produced as part of the celebration of the 900th anniversary of the foundation of Reading Abbey. Youtube: Reading Abbey
This article in a blog run by Ron Baxter discusses cirumstances surrounding the body of St James the Great after he was executed. The article describes the background to the hand, said to be of St James, which was brought to Reading Abbey a few years after its foundation, and the hand discovered in the ruins of Reading Abbey in 1786 and now held in the church of St Peter in Marlow, Bucks. St James the Great
Historic England: List entry for "Reading Abbey Ruins" as a Grade I Listed Building Historic England - Reading Abbey Ruins: Grade I listed building
Historic England: List entry for "Abbey Gate" as a Grade I Listed Building Historic England - Reading Abbey Inner Gateway: Grade I listed building
Historic England: List entry for "Reading Abbey: a Cluniac and Benedictine monastery and Civil War earthwork" as a Scheduled Monument Historic England - Reading Abbey as a Scheduled Monument
Heritage Gateway (managed by Historic England). This page includes links to information about separate parts of Reading Abbey ("Associated Monuments"), and contains a list of bibliographic Sources. Heritage Gateway - Reading Abbey
Pastscape (Historic England website) entry on Reading Abbey Pastscape - Reading Abbey