Find out where Henry I is buried in lecture to mark 900 years of Reading Abbey
Release Date 23 September 2021
An event to celebrate 900 years of Reading Abbey will be hosted at the University of Reading on Tuesday 28 September.
Established in 1121 by Henry I, Reading Abbey was one of Europe's greatest medieval monasteries. It is also the burial location of Henry I.
The Abbey has been subject to many small-scale archaeological excavations yet remains poorly understood. Archaeologist and architectural historian Tim Tatton-Brown digs deep into the archaeological archives to shed new light on the development of Reading Abbey, including the probable location of the tomb of Henry I.
What: Reading Abbey at 900: Revealing Reading Abbey's Archaeology
When: Tuesday 28 September, 7pm - 8.30pm
Where: University of Reading, Whiteknights campus
Admission: Free - although booking is essential
The event has been organised in conjunction with Reading Museum, which is currently running an online exhibition called "From music to magic: Reading's most famous manuscript". It focuses on a famous manuscript found in the Abbey, detailing different aspects of life in the Abbey, as well as the oldest surviving composition of the famous medieval song 'Sumer is icumen in'.
Karen Rowland, Reading's Lead Member for Culture, Heritage and Recreation, said: "In the Abbey Quarter, Reading boasts a site of national significance. In 2018, the Council fulfilled its long-standing ambition to preserve these important ruins and open the Abbey to the public. Our ongoing conservation work is part of our commitment to maintaining the ruins for future generations to appreciate.
"This year we are marking the incredibly auspicious 900th anniversary for Reading's Abbey - which in its heyday was a centre point in Europe for pilgrimage, safe-haven and beauty. This fascinating lecture is a great addition to the year-long celebration of this important historical site. I'd also recommend people check out Reading Museum's splendid online exhibition focusing on the Abbey's famous 'Sumer is icumen in' manuscript - one of the oldest songs in the English language."
Professor Roberta Gilchrist, Research Dean for Heritage & Creativity at the University of Reading, said: "Further exploration of the archaeological archives has revealed new evidence about how Reading Abbey evolved. This lecture will give people the opportunity to learn more about what was once one of the most important and powerful abbeys in medieval England.
"Furthermore, in partnership with Reading Museum, Berkshire Archaeology and the University of Southampton, we have secured funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council for a PhD student to focus their research on learning even more about this ancient site. I am excited for this next chapter in the history of Reading Abbey."