Reading Abbey reopening date and new galleries

Abbey newgalleries ReadingMuseumOne of Reading’s greatest treasures, the Abbey Ruins had its reopening date confirmed today.

Saturday the 16th of June will be a day to celebrate Reading’s history and heritage, as the ‘Abbey Ruins Revealed’ event gets underway following a three year and £3.15 million conservation project.

‘The Abbey Ruins Revealed’ ceremony will be the focal point of this year’s Water Fest, an annual celebration of Reading’s charming and plentiful waterways.

The date was confirmed today by Reading’s Mayor, Cllr Rose Williams, at a launch event for Reading Museum’s new Reading Abbey gallery.

The fascinating new permanent display begins with objects highlighting the town’s history before the Abbey was established. It then focuses on the history of the Abbey leading up to its closure in 1539.

Councillor Tony Page, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Member for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said, “I’m delighted the Council’s long-standing ambition to re-open the Abbey Ruins to the public is finally becoming a reality. In the Abbey Quarter, Reading boasts a site of national significance. It is fantastic this important heritage has been preserved for future generations to appreciate and I am very much looking forward to the re-opening date”.

Cllr Sarah Hacker, Reading’s Lead Member for Culture said, “I am absolutely thrilled we finally have a date for the diary and the Abbey Ruin’s reopening, coinciding with Reading’s popular Water Fest, will be the must attend event of the year! I’m sure like me, many local people cannot wait to explore and enjoy the ruins again”.

The Abbey Gallery launch is the first in a series of major openings as part of the ‘Reading Abbey Revealed’ project, with the Abbey Gateway completed in April and the Abbey Ruins open in June.

The ruins closed in 2009 as they were no longer safe to be open to the public. After 9 years and thanks to £1.77 million funding support from the Heritage Lottery Fund and match funding of £1.38 million from the Council, the ambitious project to reinvigorate Reading’s pre-eminent and nationally important heritage site will be complete.

In theme with the launch of their new Abbey Ruins exhibit, Reading Museum is also hosting Abbey themed activities every day this week as part of their half-term programme.

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