At the Whitley Pump on Katesgrove Hill we like to think that Henry I would have come here for a view of where his Abbey was to be built, but there are other local connections.
The Abbey owned land in many parts of Reading including Whitley and the spring that used to be at the top of Whitley Street may have supplied the Abbey with water by a pipe.
Reading Abbey was founded in 1121 by Henry I and for over 400 hundred years it was an important religious centre. After the dissolution of the monasteries in 1539 it was a favourite place for monarchs including Elizabeth I to visit and it played a role in the English Civil War.
‘Reading Abbey Revealed’ is a £3.14 million project to conserve and enhance the Abbey Quarter, which is centred on the ruins. Conservation work has started with a view to re-opening the Abbey to the public in 2018.
The exhibition currently running at Reading Museum is Reading Abbey Quarter:Then and Now which includes depictions of the Abbey ruins from the eighteenth century onwards.
You can find out more about this role and other volunteering opportunities related to the project on the Reading Museum website.
- Reading Museum
- Volunteering at Reading Museum
- Katesgrove Streets – Spring Gardens
- History of the Abbey Quarter
- Reading Abbey Quarter: Then and Now