In 2009 the remains of Reading Abbey were closed to the public. This was due to their deteriorating condition being unsafe for the public.  The ‘Reading Abbey Revealed’ project was conceived by Reading Borough Council in 2010 to develop the Abbey Quarter. In December 2015 the project secured Heritage Lottery funding of £1.77m. This was match-funded by Reading Council with £1.37m from ring-fenced development contributions. This made a total of £3.15m. The Ruins will re-open to the public in Summer 2018 and the project will run until 2020.

What is the project doing?

  • Conserving the Abbey Ruins in five phases. Work started on the south transept in February 2017 so the Abbey can be re-opened to the public in Summer 2018.
  • Making vital internal and roof repairs to the Abbey Gateway. Reading Museum’s Victorian Schoolroom will move into the Gateway in 2018.
  • Improving signage, marketing and interpretation of the Abbey Ruins and Reading Abbey Quarter, including new displays at Reading Museum opening in early 2018.
  • Installing new information boards to explain the history of the Abbey Quarter and how it was used – during the conservation work and after.
  • Installing new directional signage linking the Reading Abbey Quarter from the railway station and The Oracle shopping centre.
  • Creating more opportunities to get involved through volunteering including guided walks, museum tours, costumed interpretation, events, talks and research into the Abbey’s history and its effect on the town.
  • Offering a programme of events and activities for the public to learn new things about the Abbey and increase their enjoyment and appreciation of the site.
  • Opening the Ruins for venue hire including weddings or theatre performances to provide revenue for future maintenance costs.

Abbey Quarter Map

Map of the Reading Abbey Quarter.