Reading Abbey, Berkshire

Cluniac Monks/Benedictine Monks

Reading Abbey was founded by Henry I in 1121 for the Cluniac Order. Henry was buried here, such was the importance he attached to the Abbey. The church was ordained in 1164 by Thomas Becket and Henry II.

The Benedictines moved in later and they are the most likely builders of the gatehouse which is today the best preserved remnant. Of the church and surrounding buildings most are now in a ruined state having, of course, been the victim of Henry VIII and the Dissolution of the Monasteries. It is sad to say that Henry VIII had no thoughts about rescuing the tomb of his ancestor, Henry I, and it was broken up and the old Kings bones were scattered.

Today the gatehouse holds a museum and the remainder of the ruins are on public land.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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