Reading Abbey ruins and Abbey Quarter: off-line resources - tours, talks, books, courses

Tours of the Abbey Ruins

There are a number of providers of organised tours of the Abbey Ruins:-

1. Reading Museum have on their Abbey Quarter website a Talks and Tours page, where guided tours are advertised from time to time.

2. The Friends of Reading Abbey can offer tours around the Abbey ruins and Abbey Quarter, and also talks on Reading Abbey to local groups, clubs and societies. Please email the Secretary for information.

3. John and Lindsay Mullaney offer a range of historical walks around the Abbey Quarter and St James Church. More information can be found on their Scallop Shell Press website.

4. A local Blue Badge guide, Graham Horn, offers tours of the Abbey Ruins. See the Reading page on his Tours2order website for further information.

5. Terry Dixon of Terry's Reading Walkabouts organises tours of the centre of Reading including the Abbey Ruins. The link is to his Facebook page which includes contact information: Terry's Reading walkabouts.

6. Arrive in style for your tour of the Abbey ruins aboard the Caversham to Reading Abbey river shuttle. Dates and times of the sailings for 2019 are shown on the Thames River Cruises website.

Books about Reading Abbey currently in print

1. Reading Abbey and the Abbey Quarter by Peter Durrant and John Painter with the support of the Friends of Reading Abbey. Published by Two Rivers Press, 2018. 117 pages.
ISBN 978-1-909747-39-5

2. Reading Abbey Records: a new miscellany, edited by Brian Kemp. Published by Berkshire Record Society, 2018. 142 pages.
ISBN 978-0-9573937-6-9

3. The Royal Abbey of Reading by Ron Baxter. Published by Boydell and Brewer, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2016. 354 pages.
ISBN 978 1 78327 084 2

4. Scallop Shell Press publish a number of books relevant to Reading Abbey: Reading Abbey Quarter by John Mullaney; Hugh Cook Faringdon, last Abbot of Reading by Chris Darbyshire; The Reading Abbey Stone by John Mullaney. Further information about these books can be found on the Scallop Shell Press website.

These books are available from Reading Central Library, where there is also a comprehensive stock of other books about Reading Abbey - Reading libraries catalogue search.


1. Reading Museum arrange lectures related to Reading Abbey from time to time, generally held in the Museum on a Saturday afternoon. Please see their Talks and Tours page for information.

2. The Friends of Reading Abbey can provide a speaker to give a general introduction to Reading Abbey. Please email the Secretary for information.

3. John and Lindsay Mullaney can offer talks on various subjects related to Reading Abbey. Further information is provided on the "About Us" page of the Scallop Shell Press website.


1. The Department for Continuing Education in the University of Oxford hold courses from time to time in subjects related to the historical and architectural background to monastic houses such as Reading Abbey. The courses generally take place in Oxford, but some are held in the Reading area. Search for courses on the Department's website.