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Name: Burials north of St James' Church, Reading, Berkshire
HER Number: 01022.18.000
Record Type: Monument

Grid Reference: SU 720 736
Administrative Area/Parish:Reading, Reading, Berkshire
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Three in situ burials and other burials were revealed during an excavation of a pipe-trench north of St James' Church, Reading.

Monument Type(s):

  • INHUMATION (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1556 AD?)


The remains of at least three in situ burials were recovered from a contractors pipe-trench immediately north of St James' Church and Forbury Gardens. The burials were orientated east-west (heads to west) and were extended and supine with no grave goods or evidence for coffins. No grave cuts were visible within the trench, and the stratigraphic relationships of the individual burials could not be determined. The skeletons had been disturbed by a trench 0.75m wide, the bodies lying more than 1m below road level. The existence of other burials, either adjacent to those recorded or at deeper levels than those encountered in the trench examined, was confirmed by subsequent contractors excavation, spoil from which included human bone. Burial 1 was of an older male adult, burial 2 was an older infant, and burial 3 was a young male adult. There were also two other burials of an older mature female adult and a young sub adult. Although none of the burials were dated, their location is within the area of the Abbey precinct normally reserved for the lay cemetery according to the standard Benedictine plan. This cemetery is believed to have continued in use after the Dissolution until 1556, after which the burial ground was transferred to St Laurence's <1>.

<1> Trust For Wessex Archaeology, 1989?, Archaeological observations along the line of the Plummery Wall, Reading Abbey, 1987-1989, Pages 6-10 (Unpublished document). SRM13130.


<1>Trust For Wessex Archaeology. 1989?. Archaeological observations along the line of the Plummery Wall, Reading Abbey, 1987-1989. Pages 6-10. [Unpublished document / SRM13130]

Associated Events:

ERM495North of St James' Church, Reading, Berkshire (Ref: W324)

Associated Monuments

MRD1374Reading Abbey, Reading, Berkshire (Monument)

Associated Finds:

  • FRM12184 - HUMAN REMAINS (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)