The Friends of Reading Abbey Lectures & Events
Meetings are held twice yearly in Reading, on Friday evenings at 7.30pm or Saturday afternoons at 2.30pm,
¦ Fora 'Walks & Talks' ¦ Please click
|Sat. 20th May - 23rd Sept. 2017||Exhibition at Reading Museum about the Abbey Quarter and ruins. For further details please visit the Reading Museum website .|
Also please note the following tours are held:
i) Museum Gallery Tours led by volunteer guides take place on Saturdays at 12.00 noon. These will include updates about the Abbey Quarter. More information can be seen at Gallery Tours.
ii) Exhibition Short Tours are held every Wednesday and Saturday at 11.15am in the Sir John Madejski Art Gallery, Reading Museum. More information can be seen at Exhibition Short Tours.
|Fri. 8th & Sat. 9th Sept. 2017||Heritage Open Days, Reading Abbey Quarter Tours - organised by Reading Museum (NB: the tours will not go into the Abbey ruins themselves). Details including how to book can be seen on the Museum's Abbey Quarter website.|
|Fri. 15th Sept. 2017||There will be a performance of 'Reading's Royal Burial, The Life and Death of Reading's King', although, for information, it is sold out. Details can be seen on the Reading-on-Thames festival website||[Speaker]|
|Sat. 7th Oct. 2017||Reading Museum's "Tea and Talks at Two" series: Dr Ron Baxter will give a talk 'Blood and Bones: the Veneration of Relics at Reading Abbey'. Details including how to book can be seen on the Museum's Abbey Quarter website.||Dr Ron Baxter|
|Sat. 28th Oct. 2017||The Friends of Reading Abbey AGM will be held in the Waterhouse Chamber in Reading Town Hall at 2.30pm (doors open 2.00pm). After the AGM there will be an illustrated talk on the Reading Abbey Revealed Project and the works now taking place to conserve the Abbey Ruins and Gateway. The talk will be given by Matthew Williams, Reading Museum Manager and the Project's specialist conservation architect, Giles Pritchard (Design Manager - Heritage Architecture, HCC Architects)||Matthew Williams & |
|Sat. 4th Nov. 2017||Reading Museum's "Tea and Talks at Two" series: Professor Anne Lawrence will give a talk 'Science and Magic within the Monastery'. Details including how to book can be seen on the Museum's Abbey Quarter website.||Professor Anne Lawrence|
|Sat. 27th Nov. 2017||Reading Museum's "Tea and Talks at Two" series: Professor Peter Stoneley will give a talk 'Garden Party and Prison Cell - Oscar Wilde in Reading'. Details including how to book can be seen on the Museum's Abbey Quarter website.||Professor Peter Stoneley|
|Sat. 22nd July 2017||Reading Museum's "Tea and Talks at Two" series: Joy Pibworth gave a talk 'Introducing Jane Austen', highlighting her connections with places in Reading and the surrounding area. This talk took place a few days after the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen's death on 18th July 1817 in Winchester.||Joy Pibworth|
|Tues. 4th July 2017||FORA Annual Outing. This year's outing had a Jane Austen theme, as a former pupil of the school in Reading Abbey gate, to commemorate the 200th anniversary of her death. A very pleasant day was spent at various locations in Hampshire. An account of the day can be seen on the Look Back at Past Events page.|
|Sat. 17th June 2017||Reading Museum's "Tea and Talks at Two" series: Harriet Mahood gave a talk on Reading Abbey Gatehouse in Context.||Dr Harriet Mahood|
|Sat. 10th June 2017||Reading Waterfest, organised by Reading Borough Council.
Some photographs of the Waterfest can be seen on the Look Back at Past Events page.
|Fri. 31st Mar. 2017||The Spring lecture was held in St Laurence's church, Friar Street, Reading. An excellent audience of over 70 people gathered to hear Joan Dils’ very interesting talk on the difficult period of the Reformation 1520 – 1560 relating to the parish of St Laurence. Photographs from the lecture can be seen at Photo1 , Photo2 and Photo3. Joan kindly made the notes of her lecture available to the Friends. They can be seen in this pdf file ||Joan Dils|
|December 2016||"Light Up Reading - Christmas 2016". There were two Abbey-related events: i) The "Abbey 3D Experience" in Town Hall Square, 12-16th Dec. 6pm-8pm, and ii) the Abbey Ruins "in a new light", Chestnut Walk, 1st-17th Dec. 6pm-7pm.
Further information about the Abbey 3D Experience, supplied by Reading College whose students set the 3D Experience up, can be seen here|
Photos of the illuminated Abbey Ruins can be seen here
|Fri. 9th Dec. 2016||The Reading Branch of the Historical Association arranged a lecture by Dr Ruth Salter from the University of Reading on "Reading Abbey - Saints, Miracles and Cure-seekers". The lecture was held in the lecture theatre of Reading School.|
"After an introduction into both the Abbey’s foundation, and the role of saints’ cults in the medieval church, the lecture looked in more detail at the miracle collection for Reading’s most prized relic, the hand of St James the Greater, with particular attention given to the individuals miraculously cured by the saint in the twelfth century – an especially important time for Reading, where the Abbey and the cult of St James were in their early years."
|Dr Ruth Salter||Sat. 29th Oct. 2016||The Friends' AGM was held at 2.30pm in the Soane Space at the Old Town Hall. It was followed by a talk by Ron Baxter, author of the recently published "The Royal Abbey of Reading", on "Reading Abbey as a mediaeval Royal Palace". The minutes of the meeting can be seen here.||Ron Baxter||Fri. 9th & Sat. 10th Sept. 2016
||Heritage Open Days, Reading Abbey Quarter Tours - organised by Reading Museum. The following account of the day appeared in the Reading Museum Volunteers newsletter:|
Reading Abbey update Heritage Open Day Success! Reading Museum Staff and Volunteers successfully led tours around the Abbey Quarter as part of the Heritage Open Day. We received amazing feedback such as “Really interesting – looking at the remains will never be the same! Look forward to seeing more!” Plus visitor numbers on Saturday were through the roof at 896 people! Thank you to everyone who helped make the two days such a success!
#AbbeyTours online. This year our interns were Live Tweeting during our Abbey Quarter tours. You can get a feel for the tours and public images and feedback at:
|Wed. 6th July 2016||This year's outing was to Lewes Priory, the first Cluniac foundation in Britain, and included a guided tour of the Priory ruins and visits to the local church attached to the Priory (St John the Baptist, Southover) and to the Anne of Cleves House, also in Southover. It ended with a visit to Clayton church, north of Brighton, which is of Saxon foundation but was later granted to the Priory and features C12th wall paintings by the monks. The programme for the day can be seen here|
~~ Photographs of the outing can be seen on the Look Back at Past Events page.
|Sun. 19th June 2016||Friends' Summer Party. This year the Summer Party will move to the Forbury Gardens, to celebrate the success of the Heritage Lottery bid. It will run from 2.00pm to 5.00pm on Father's Day. Please click
for further information. A poster for the event is available here and details of the community singing of Sumer is icumen in here . Words of the song in Middle and Modern English can be seen here and a photograph of the original manuscript here .|
~~ Photographs of the Summer Party can be seen on the Look Back at Past Events page.
~~ An article about the Party can be seen on the getreading website
~~ David Owen Norris wrote an article for BBC Music Magazine about the event. A copy of his article can be seen here
|Sat. 11th June 2016||The annual Reading Waterfest is this Saturday, 11th June. FORA will have a gazebo on Chestnut Walk (near to the Reredorter entrance to the Abbey Ruins - now closed) where we will have our display and will be handing out leaflets. This will be staffed by committee members and volunteers. If you are in Reading for Waterfest, do drop in and talk to us. |
~~ Photographs of this year's Waterfest can be seen on Facebook and here . ~~
|Fri.15th April 2016||Talk on The Abbot in Late Medieval and Reformation England at St Laurence's Church, Friar St., Reading at 7.30pm. A poster for the event can be seen here||Dr Martin Heale||Sat. 24th Oct. 2015||The AGM was held in the Wroughton Room at the Berkshire Record Office, 9 Coley Ave, Reading, RG1 6AF. After the AGM there was a talk on Monastic and Ecclesiastical Gatehouses. An article about the event can be seen
here [Article updated with a summary of the talk, Feb. 2016]. The minutes of the AGM are available here||Harriet Mahood||Fri. 11 &
Sat. 12 Sept. 2015
||Heritage Open Days, Reading Abbey Quarter Tours. These were organised by Reading Museum.
Also on Thursday 10th Sept, tours of the Museum stores.||Wed. 8th July 2015||The Friends' annual outing was to Oxford. The programme for the outing can be seen
here and an account of the day
||Prof. Brian Kemp||Sun. 21st June 2015
||Summer Garden Party in Caversham Court Gardens. To see photos of this event and the Waterfest, please click here.||Sat. 13th June 2015
||Reading Waterfest. The next occasion when the Abbey Ruins will be open to the public, under safety-controlled|
(“hard hat”) conditions.
|Fri. 10th April 2015
||Reading Abbey and Catholicism. The venue for this lecture is St James' church, Forbury Road, Reading||John Mullaney||Sat. 21st March 2015
||John Mullaney will give a talk on the writing of his book "Reading's Abbey Quarter" to the Reading Civic Society|
at Watlington House, Watlington St, Reading, at 2.30pm.
|John Mullaney||Sat. 25th Oct. 2014
||AGM & talk on The Dissolution of the Monasteries, with local reference to Reading. Photograph
Secretary's report 2013/14 here, statement of accounts to 31/08/14 here, statement of assets at 31/08/14 here,
draft meeting minutes here.
|Prof. George Bernard||Fri. 12 Sept. &
Sat. 13 Sept. 2014
|Reading Abbey Quarter Tours. Organised by Reading Museum.||
Wed. 24th Sept. 2014||Visit to Winchester. For programme details, please click
here||Prof. Brian Kemp||Sun. 22 June 2014||Summer Garden Party in Caversham Court Gardens||Sat. 14 June 2014||15-minute tours of Reading Abbey Ruins. Organised by Reading Borough Council.||Fri. 11 April 2014||Reading Abbey's Royal Connections||Prof. Brian Kemp||Wed. 16 Oct. 2013||Visit to Romsey Abbey and Wherwell Priory||Prof. Brian Kemp||Fri. 5 April 2013||Monastic Architecture - Reading Abbey in Context||Keith Hasted|