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This stone head was found during excavations by the Oxford Archaeological Unit under the new Oracle shopping Centre in 1996 to 1998. It is part of a large stone corbel which was at first used in the Abbey embedded in a wall with the decorated part jutting out to take a roof beam. It comes from the 12th century.  After the Abbey was dissolved it was taken away, along with many other stones and used in the foundations of the 17th century Yield Hall  where now the Oracle shopping centre stands. It is held by the Museum of Reading and is on display in the sculpture gallery.  The website for the Oracle ( gives further information about the dig and this stone, click on information and then history within the website.