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Name: Medieval Reading
HER Number: 02113.00.000
Record Type: Monument

Grid Reference: SU 715 735
Administrative Area/Parish:Reading, Reading, Berkshire
Map:Show location on Streetmap


With the foundation of Reading Abbey in 1164 there was a shift in economic activity away from St Mary's to the Abbey gates.

Monument Types

  • TOWN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)


The Domesday survey of 1086 records two manors at Reading, one belonging to Battle Abbey and the other to the King. The estate attached to Battle Abbey was recovered by Henry I in the early 12th century and in 1121 the King founded Reading Abbey on newly acquired land <2>. The foundation of the Abbey (SMR 01022.00.000) in 1164 resulted in a shift of economic activity from St Mary's to the gates of the Abbey. By the 14th century, this shift was complete and the layout of the town changed little until the 19th century <1>.

During the medieval period Reading developed rapidly, based on the manufacture of woollen cloth, leather goods and silk weaving. It had a good location in particular being in the proximity of two waterways - the River Thames and the River Kennet <4>.

<1> Astill, G.G, 1978, Historic towns in Berkshire: An archaeological appraisal (Bibliographic reference). SRD6871.

<2> CgMs Consulting, 2007, Archaeological Assessment - 5-21 Tudor Road, Reading, Berkshire (Unpublished document). SRM13403.

<3> Foundations Archaeology, 2009, Garages to the rear of 55-56 St. Mary's Butts, Reading, Berkshire : An Archaeological Assessment (Unpublished document). SRM13928.

<4> The Conservation Studio, 2007, Market Place/London Street Conservation Area Appraisal, Page 7 (Unpublished document). SRM14469.


<1>Astill, G.G. 1978. Historic towns in Berkshire: An archaeological appraisal. [Bibliographic reference / SRD6871]
<2>CgMs Consulting. 2007. Archaeological Assessment - 5-21 Tudor Road, Reading, Berkshire. [Unpublished document / SRM13403]
<3>Foundations Archaeology. 2009. Garages to the rear of 55-56 St. Mary's Butts, Reading, Berkshire : An Archaeological Assessment. [Unpublished document / SRM13928]
<4>The Conservation Studio. 2007. Market Place/London Street Conservation Area Appraisal. Page 7. [Unpublished document / SRM14469]

Associated Events:

ERM1072Garages to the Rear of 55-56 St Mary's Butts, Reading, Berkshire (Ref: SMB09)
ERM1397Market Place/London Street Conservation Area Appraisal

Associated Monuments

MRD1136913th century pottery - 10 Queen Victoria Street, Reading, Berkshire (Find Spot)
MRD1137714th century pottery sherds - 60 Broad Street, Reading (Find Spot)
MRD1137514th century pottery sherds - The Vicarage, St Mary's, Reading, Berkshire (Find Spot)
MRD7376Bear Wharf, Fobney Street, Reading, Berkshire (Monument)
MRD3928Broad Street/King Street, Reading (Monument)
MRD11366Carved bone figure - Fobney Street, Reading, Berkshire (Find Spot)
MRD3924Castle Street, Reading, Berkshire (Monument)
MRD3937Church of St Giles, Southampton Street, Reading, Berkshire (Listed Building)
MRD3935Church of St Mary, Reading, Berkshire (Listed Building)
MRD11372Finds from the River Kennet at Reading (Find Spot)
MRD3929Flint and tile wall at Broad Street, Reading, Berkshire (Monument)
MRD3938Greyfriars - Reading, Berkshire (Monument)
MRD11381Late Norman or early Medieval pot - Wellsteads, Broad Street, Reading (Find Spot)
MRD3926Market Place, Reading (Monument)
MRD11367Medieval coin - Great Western Hotel, Reading, Berkshire (Find Spot)
MRD11368Medieval features and a find - 72 London Street, Reading, Berkshire (Find Spot)
MRD3962Medieval gully at Crane Wharf, Reading, Berkshire (Monument)
MRD11365Medieval jug - Blagrave Street, Reading, Berkshire (Find Spot)
MRD11370Medieval pottery at Wiston Terrace, Reading, Berkshire (Find Spot)
MRD11376Medieval sherd at Southampton Street/Mill Street, Reading, Berkshire (Find Spot)
MRD11371Medieval sherds - New garage near railway station, Reading, Berkshire (Find Spot)
MRD11378Medieval skeleton and finds - Broad Street, Reading, Berkshire (Find Spot)
MRD3942Mills at Mill Lane, Reading, Berkshire (Monument)
MRD3941Minster Mill, Reading, Berkshire (Monument)
MRD3921Minster Street/Gun Street, Reading (Monument)
MRD3934Motte? at Forbury Hill, Reading, Berkshire (Monument)
MRD3931New Street/Friar Street, Reading, Berkshire (Monument)
MRD3957Oak and birch revetment at Fobney Street, Reading, Berkshire (Monument)
MRD3919Old Market/ St Mary's Butts, Reading, Berkshire (Monument)
MRD3923Old Street/Bridge Street, Reading, Berkshire (Monument)
MRD11398Pilgrim bottle found at Corn Exchange, Reading, Berkshire (Find Spot)
MRD3945Road at Duke Street, Reading, Berkshire (Monument)
MRD3918Saxon mint at Reading (Monument)
MRD3944St Edmund's Chapel - Reading, Berkshire (Monument)
MRD3936St Laurence Church, Reading, Berkshire (Listed Building)
MRD3943St Laurence's School, Reading, Berkshire (Monument)
MRD6376Undated wall at Jacksons Corner, Reading (Monument)
MRD3959Waterfront - Bridge Street (West) Reading, Berkshire (Monument)
MRD3947Waterfronts - Bridge Street, Reading, Berkshire (Monument)
MRD3930Well in Cross Street, Reading, Berkshire (Monument)

Associated Finds:

  • None