Abbey Revealed

 

abbey2Following a £3.1m conservation project the Reading Abbey ruins were reopened on the 16th of June in a massive day of medieval themed festivities, celebrating the sites history and heritage. 

The Abbey is now officially open and 900 years of history awaits you inside, with the ruins open from dusk till dawn all week. 

Significant segments of the once magnificent site remain standing as a fantastic way to gauge just how impressive the Abbey was in its prime centuries ago. 

King Henry I ordered the construction of the Abbey in 1121, as a tribute to his faith believing the act would result in the salvation of his, and his ancestors and successors souls. The Abbey served as a site of international significance and religious worship up until its dissolution in 1538, under King Henry VIII's Dissolution of the Monasteries. 

The last abbot of the Abbey, Hugh Cook Faringdon, was famously hung, drawn and quartered by his former friend, King Henry VIII. 

The ruins themselves were the final resting place for their founder King Henry I, and work is currently underway toAbbey Ruins 22 locate the exact whereabouts of his remains and to establish if they are still within the Abbey Quarter. 

Whilst structures like the Abbey Gateway and the Hospitium remain standing in their entire glory, the ruins themselves contain magnificent remains of the former site such as the South Transept, the Chapter House and the Dormitory, which were the focus of the conservation project. 

The Dormitory will be a hub of cultural activity over the coming months with open-air cinemas and live theatrical performances taking place there, turning the inspiring ruins into a prestigious venue of arts and culture. 

British History is intertwined with the Abbey's own, with the site serving as a key location during the civil war, as well as once serving as a royal palace for British monarchs and a makeshift parliament for the government. 

In the coming months the Abbey Ruins promise to be a buzzing hub of cultural activity as well as an open door into the rich heritage of Reading, and the key role the site, and town played in British history. 

For details on performances and events hosted in the ruins, visit: https://www.readingabbeyquarter.org.uk/abbey/whats-on

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