project: Reading Abbey Ruins
status: Grade I Listed
client: Reading Borough Council
duration: 13 months
value: £1,35 million
scope of works:
- repairs to twentieth century hard cappings
- application of soft cappings
- consolidation of loose mortar rubble surfaces
- spot patching of damaged areas of historically significant mortar surfaces
- lime shelter coating of significant stone work
- re-pointing of flint and rubble walls
- re-bedding loose stones
- construction of sacrificial facings
- partial arch reinstatements
external work features to enhance the interpretation of the Ruins included:
- cut flint ground strips
- steel edgings and slabs to mark the location of lost walls
- the installation of new interpretation panels and ground plaques
- the construction of a viewing mound at the original floor level within the former Dormitory
The Abbey Quarter in central Reading is home to numerous historic features which are recognised as having national, as well as local importance. Two of these features, the Abbey Ruins and the Abbey Gateway have, over the years, fallen into disrepair, and were the subject of extensive works to restore them.
As part of the Reading Abbey Revealed project, Reading Borough Council (RBC) has a vision to develop and transform Reading’s Abbey Quarter, which encompasses the Abbey Ruins and Abbey Gateway, into a unique historical and cultural destination. After 9 years and thanks to funding support from the Heritage Lottery Fund in April of 2018, the Gatehouse was again opened to the general public.
The Abbey was founded in 1121 by King Henry I, where he was buried in 1136, and it was dissolved by Henry VIII in 1539.