Reading Abbey Ruins



Abbey Quarter, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 3BA

Tel: 0118 937 3400

Walls of the ruined Reading Abbey


The Abbey Quarter covers the former precinct of one of Europe's largest royal monasteries and dates back over 900 years. There are remains of the south transept (the arms that project at right angles from the church, forming a cross shape), the treasury, the chapter house (where the monks all met together), the dormitory and the refectory (the dining room).

The impressive Reading Abbey ruins were reopened in June 2018 after vital conservation work was undertaken.

You can also see the mill arch over the Holy Brook. This is the only remaining part of what was once the mill for Reading Abbey. The mill was in use until the twentieth century! 

Chapter House

This impressive space is the most complete room within the Abbey Ruins. 

Reading Abbey Gateway

The Grade I listed Gateway overlooking the Forbury Gardens is a substantial part of what remains of Reading Abbey. 
The Abbey Gateway was once part of the Reading Girls School. This was famously attended by Jane Austen and her sister Cassandra. 

Forbury Gardens

These are a fine example of Victorian public gardens created in 1856 in the eastern half of the Forbury, the former outer precinct of the Abbey. You can enjoy the paths, flower beds, fountain and Forbury Hill that were laid out by Reading Corporation. The gardens were linked to the Abbey Ruins by a short tunnel incorporating carved stones from the Abbey unearthed during the tunnel's excavation. This will once again link the gardens and Ruins when conservation work is completed in 2018.

A short stroll along Chestnut Walk is the Oscar Wilde Memorial walk in the shadow Reading Gaol's walls and a further 5 minutes along the towpath is the small Riverside Museum, open from April to October.

Start your visit by discovering the history of Reading's royal abbey and the Norman conquest at Reading Museum. Then explore the layers of history with a stroll around the Quarter.

Book Tickets


Map & Directions

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