Abbey Ruins Reading

Abbey Ruins Reading has been closed for the last 10 years. It opened it’s doors to the public on the 16th of June 2018. After a 3-year conservation project. Located in the centre of the town.

Did you know?

The Abbey Ruins stood as tall as the Blade building and as wide as Westminster Abbey. Get ready to explore the ruins and learn about its history. Join in with the activities that are offered throughout the year. In the summer enjoy a picnic on the grounds.

Highlights of Reading Abbey History

  • There is 900 years of history to learn about on your visit.
  • In medieval times Reading was the site of a great royal Abbey. The Abbey was home to a religious community which was centred around a church.
  • 1121 that King Henry I announced that he wanted a new abbey built.
  • No expense was spared in the construction of the abbey.
  • An impressive church was built with living quarters for monks.
  • The Abbey was one of the largest monasteries in Europe.
  • King Henry died in 1136. He did not live to see the completion of his Abbey.
  • He was buried in front of the high altar.
  • The Abbey became a place for other royals to be buried.
  • The Abbey was the 4th largest church in Britain.
  • Opened in 1164 by the Archbishop of Canterbury whilst building works were still going on.
  • It took around 200 years after the original foundation was laid in 1121 to complete.
  • For more than 400 years monks lived, worshipped and worked at the Abbey.
  • Thousands of pilgrims visited the abbey as they search for blessings. Or a cure if they were ill.

Learn more about Abbey Ruins from their website.

Arrive in Style at The Abbey Ruins

Start your visit by discovering the history of Reading’s Royal Abbey and the Norman conquest at Reading Museum. Which is a short walk from the Abbey. Now it’s time to explore the abbey quarter.

Travel along the River Kennet and the River Thames. On a Thames River cruise. They run a service to Reading Abbey.

Catch a taxi to Thameside Promenade in Caversham. The cruise will make its way to Caversham Lock, Blakes Lock and the Bel and the Dragon for Blake’s Lock Museum. Then it will make its way to Duke Street Bridge for The Oracle before stopping at the Abbey Ruins.

You will be approaching the abbey just like people did at the time of King Henry 1. You will have plenty of time to explore the ruins. The cruise will run on Wednesdays and Saturdays from the 25th of July to August the 18th.

Book your tickets for the cruise

Book your taxi to Abbey Ruins