About Reading Abbey

Reading Abbey

From the time of its foundation by King Henry I in 1121 until its dissolution under King Henry VIII in 1539, Reading Abbey was one of England's foremost and wealthiest monasteries. For the three centuries following its dissolution, it steadily fell into ruin, but was finally rescued from complete obliteration during the 19th century. Today the ruins of parts of the Abbey remain along with some more complete structures, distributed around a large area close to the centre of Reading at the heart of Reading, and the heart of its culture and history.
Follow the links on this page to find out more about Reading Abbey.

  ** Please note, the ruins are currently closed to the public. Further information can be found in the "Current Closure" section on this page. **

Where to find Reading Abbey



Section from John Speed's 1610 map of Reading showing the Abbey area.

History of Reading Abbey

These links provide information about the history of the Abbey, from its founding in 1121 to its dissolution in 1539, its dilapidation during the following three centuries and finally its conservation as a ruin and scheduled ancient monument.

1. British History Online - Reading Abbey
2. Reading Abbey timeline
3. Notable dates in the Abbey's history
4. Further history links






Guide to Reading Abbey ruins
and the Abbey Quarter

These links provide information about the ruins and the Abbey Quarter

1. Reading Museum's Abbey Quarter website
2. The Friends of Reading Abbey guide
3. The Friends' tour of the Abbey Quarter: Tour leaflet and Map
4. Further links about the Abbey ruins and Abbey Quarter



The Current Closure of Reading
Abbey ruins

The Abbey ruins were closed to the public during 2009 owing to the risk of flints falling from the walls. Conservation work is currently underway and the ruins are due to be re-opened in 2018.
The title/link of this section leads to further information about the 'Reading Abbey Revealed' project to conserve the ruins; and to media reports about the closure of the ruins and the activity which has followed to get them re-opened.



Further websites and articles
about Reading Abbey


Click on the title/link above for links to further websites and articles about Reading Abbey.