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The Museum is now fully open, following a major redevelopment, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Free Admission

The Museum of English Rural Life

University of Reading

Redlands Road



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William Wordsworth and the sounds of the land

Steven Matthews, Critic and Poet February 28th 2017 | 12-1pm

Booking Details

No need to book


Date February 28th 2017
Time 12-1pm
Cost Free


The Museum of English Rural Life, Redlands Road, Reading, RG1 5EX
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'The Tangible and Intangible Countryside' Speaker Series

In this series of lunchtime talks, leading contemporary writers and researchers will address the theme of ‘The Tangible and Intangible Countryside’. They will look at various material dimensions of rural culture, while also thinking about processes, sounds and experiences of the countryside that cannot be touched or held. The series ties in with the MERL’s current ACE-funded ‘Museum of the Intangible’ project, led by Dr. Ollie Douglas.

‘William Wordsworth and the Sounds of the Land’ by Steven Matthews

Steven Matthews is a critic and poet who has written on a range of poetry, including work by Wordsworth, T.S. Eliot, Les Murray, W.B. Yeats, and contemporary Irish writers. His second poetry collection, 'On Magnetism', is to appear 2017/18'.

In his autobiography, The Prelude, Wordsworth suggested that it was the sounds he heard in childhood which prompted his becoming a poet. Using original sound recordings made at key Wordsworth sites, this talk will reflect upon the relations between sound, writing, and landscape.

What's on

Easter Holidays at The MERL

  • From April 1st 2017 To April 23rd 2017
  • Usual museum opening times (Closed Mondays & Easter Sunday. Open Good Friday and Easter Saturday.)
  • Free admission

Extended Hours Night

  • April 27th 2017
  • 5-9pm
  • Free

Friday Fledglings

  • April 28th 2017
  • 10 to 11.30am
  • £3 per child (includes drink and snack)

No need to book