Reading Abbey 900 walking routes.

Welcome to the Reading Abbey 900 walking route. The route has been set up as part of the celebrations of the 900th anniversary of Reading Abbey, founded as a Royal Palace by King Henry I in 1121. The urban landscape of Reading has many buildings and other structures of architectural and historic interest, representative of centuries from when the Abbey was in use as a monastery to the present. These buildings reflect the prosperity which the fame of the Abbey as a centre of pilgrimage brought to the town as it evolved into its status as a major regional centre.

The route starts in Forbury Gardens, within the original precincts of the Abbey, makes its way into Town Hall Square, noting many sites in the area associated with the Abbey. Then continues West along Friar St. where there are several buildings of architectural interest, to Greyfriars Church, Reading's other religious house in medieval times. The route then goes South along West St and into St Marys Butts, to Reading Minster and the area where the original Saxon town first developed. From there we come back up to Broad St, now the main shopping centre. We then return to Forbury Gardens via the Market Place with its set of traditionally built structures.

The route is shown on a series of maps, with symbols indicating sites of interest. Hover the mouse pointer over a symbol to find out the name of the site, click on a symbol to go to pages giving information about the sites. Here there are also thumbnail photos which can be clicked to find further detail and photos. Where relevant, any connections of sites to Reading Abbey are given.

Enjoy your tour!


Road Safety
Reading is a busy place with much traffic. Please take care when crossing roads, and ensure you are in a pedestrian area when viewing sites along the route.

The maps drawn up for these walking tours have been based upon the maps at OpenStreetMaps, and the work of OpenStreetMap contributors in enabling these maps to be produced is gratefully acknowledged.

Other websites which have been an invaluable source of information in compiling the information are:
for information about listed (i.e. protected by law) buildings: Historic England and British Listed Buildings
for information about Reading Abbey and the town: Reading Museum and the Abbey quarter