The ruins of Reading Abbey are to re-open to the public following an extensive £3.15 million restoration scheme, Reading Abbey Revealed, on June 16. The abbey has been close since 2009, for safety reasons.
In addition to the extensive conservation project, the 900-year-old abbey has benefitted from new signage and a programme of activities to increase customer satisfaction. The project is part of the local council’s ongoing efforts to conserve and develop the Abbey Quarter.
One of 12th century England’s wealthiest monasteries – King Henry I was buried at Reading Abbey – in its heydey it was one of the largest royal monasteries in medieval Europe.
Key features include, the Real Abbey Revealed – newly-created digital reconstructions of the Abbey in its glory, including a fly over the Abbey. Once the entrance to a Tudor royal palace, and latterly a classroom for the young Jane Austen, the Abbey Gateway is also re-opened after extensive renovation.
The reopening of the Abbey Ruins is part of Water Fest, Reading’s annual celebration of its waterways.
For more information, visit www.readingabbeyquarter.org.uk. Photo courtesy of Reading Museum.
Mark Bibby Jackson
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