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  Moving about this website is easy. Simply click on what to see, what to hear, what to read or what to teach. Click on Henry to return to this home page.


A new account of Surveys and Excavations at Reading Abbey has been added to the Abbey Buildings page in September 2016. Click here.

Reading Abbey was founded by King Henry I in the town of Reading in Berkshire in 1121. It came to an end in 1539 when king Henry VIII dissolved all the monasteries in England.

Some of the church and the buildings used by the monks remain as ruins, three other buildings have continued in use to the present day. Much of the layout of the monastery is followed by the present day street pattern.

The remaining structures of Reading Abbey are listed buildings and/or scheduled ancient monuments, most of them are owned by Reading Borough Council. 

The richest source of reading and images on the history of the Abbey is the Local Studies Collection at Reading Central Library -  visit the website - - and click on "catalogue". 

Look at  the site map page for an overview of the website similar to the contents page of a book.


At present the Abbey Ruins are closed to public access due to the instability of the ruins.  With the help of Heritage Lottery Funding, Reading Borough Council (the owners of the ruins) will be managing the Reading Abbey Revealed project to conserve the ruins and to re-open them with improved interpretative signage. It is anticipated that the ruins will be re-opened to the public during 2018.


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The present day walk through the Abbey Ruins down to the River Kennet. Above the view in autumn, below the view in winter. Click on the thumbnail picture to see the large size picture.

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This website is run by the Friends of Reading Abbey.


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