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Question to council: William Marshal

Richard Stainthorp to ask the Lead Councillor for Culture Heritage and Recreation: William Marshal As I am sure the Lead Councillor is awar...

17 Oct 2017

Have you got a bit of Reading Abbey in your rockery?

Reading Borough Council Press Release:

Could You Own a Piece of Reading History?

October 16, 2017 Oscar Mortali

RESIDENTS will have the opportunity to learn more about the ambitious new Hidden Abbey Stones project at an upcoming public meeting on Friday 20 October.

The Hidden Abbey Stones Project (HASP) is an exciting new venture which aims to learn more about the lost and hidden stones of the Abbey that were removed following its dissolution in 1539. Many of the stones that once formed the Abbey still exist in Reading today, built into walls or houses or simply unrecognised in rockeries and flowerbeds.

By studying the composition and decorative style of many of these stones, it is hoped that the group will be able to reveal not just aspects of the Abbey’s architecture, but also speak of its life, musical tradition, art, and even the changing social and religious attitudes of the nation.

The meeting takes place at St James Church Roman Catholic Church, The Forbury, on Friday 20th October at 7.30pm. It will include contributions from the Right Rev Geoffrey Scott (Abbot of Douai Abbey), Toby Davies (Reading Between The lines), Dr Kevin Hayward (Reading University) and John Mullaney (one of the initiators of the project).

Entry to the meeting is free but ticketed. Tickets can be obtained by entering Hidden Abbey Stones Project Launch on Eventbrite or by using this link: 


Councillor Sarah Hacker, Lead Councillor for Culture, and a member of the project’s steering group said:

“Many people across the town may have stones that once formed part of Reading Abbey in their gardens, but simply don’t realise they own a part of Reading’s history. The public meeting is a brilliant opportunity for residents to learn more about the project and the materials that were once part of one of the most important religious buildings in Europe.”

The project forms part of the ‘Hidden Abbey Project’, which has been set up to discover the full extent and significance of the Royal Abbey, founded by Henry in 1121, which was the final resting place of the king and his Queen Adeliza. The project won a Reading Cultural Award in the category Celebrating Reading’s Heritage in June 2017.

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