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Name: Reading Abbey - Cloister Arch
HER Number: MRM15878
Record Type: Monument

Grid Reference: SU 719 735
Administrative Area/Parish:Reading, Reading, Berkshire
Map:Show location on Streetmap

Summary

A standing archway between the Cloisters and the Nave of the Abbey church.

Monument Types

  • FLOOR (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • ARCH (Medieval - 1121 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WALL (Medieval - 1121 AD to 1539 AD)

Description

A new supporting arch was constructed at the Cloister Arch as part of the conservation work<1>. During archaeological works in 2004-2005 a small trench was dug below the Cloister Arch. A linear feature, 0.45m wide and 0.7m deep with vertical sides and a flat base was found. The function of this feature is uncertain and the only dateable finds recovered from its single fill were probable medieval tile fragments, including a moderate number of ridge tile fragments which are certainly residual. The earliest feature revealed comprised part of the massive foundations of the south wall of the Abbey Church that was constructed of large flint nodules set in a pale yellowish brown mortar. This deposit completely filled the base of the trench and was in excess of 0.5m thick. On the west side of the arch, directly above the foundations, a part of the original Caen stone, ashlar facing and the bases of three pilasters, that would have framed the arch were exposed. On the east side only a small part of the ashlar facing survived. Abutting the original facing on either side of the arch a series of three floors was recorded. The earliest of these, only visible in plan in the south-east corner of the trench, comprised decorated and plain tiles set into pale yellowish brown mortar. This was overlain by a plain, unglazed tile floor set in pale grey sandy mortar., which was in turn overlain by a third tile and cobbles floor set in pale yellow sandy mortar. In the east side of the arch the core of the wall, exposed by the removal of the facing ashlars, had been crudely re-faced with small greensand blocks. Only a very small and quite badly damaged area of this re-facing survived, however, it was sufficiently intact to see that it post-dated the most recent floor surface observed <1>.


<1> Wessex Archaeology, 2005, Forbury Gardens Restoration Project, Reading, Berkshire - Archaeological Building Recording (Unpublished document). SRM13027.


<2> Wessex Archaeology, 2005, Forbury Gardens Restoration Project, Reading, Berkshire - Archaeological Investigations, pp6-7 (Unpublished document). SRM13028.

Sources

<1>Wessex Archaeology. 2005. Forbury Gardens Restoration Project, Reading, Berkshire - Archaeological Building Recording. [Unpublished document / SRM13027]
<2>Wessex Archaeology. 2005. Forbury Gardens Restoration Project, Reading, Berkshire - Archaeological Investigations. pp6-7. [Unpublished document / SRM13028]

Designations

  • Scheduled Monument 1007932: Reading Abbey: a Cluniac and Benedictine monastery and Civil War earthwork.

Associated Events:

ERM410Forbury Gardens Restoration Project, Reading, Berkshire (Ref: 56410.02)
ERM412Forbury Gardens Restoration Project, Reading, Berkshire

Associated Monuments

MRD1374Reading Abbey, Reading, Berkshire (Monument)
MRD1374Reading Abbey, Reading, Berkshire (Monument)
MRD15560Reading Abbey - Cloisters (Monument)
MRD1374Reading Abbey, Reading, Berkshire (Monument)
MRD1374Reading Abbey, Reading, Berkshire (Monument)

Associated Finds:

  • FRM11891 - FLOOR TILE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FRM11892 - PILASTER (Medieval - 1121 AD to 1539 AD)