β€œHe built this monastery between the rivers Kennet and Thames, in a place calculated for the reception of almost all who might have occasion to travel to the more populous cities of England.” – William of Malmesbury

In medieval times, Reading was the site of a great royal Abbey – a religious community centred round a magnificent church – one of the largest monasteries in Europe. In 1121, King Henry I announced that he wanted to have a new abbey built at Reading.

The Abbey would have a large and impressive church and living quarters for dozens of monks, who would worship in the church. No expense was spared in regard to its construction. The Abbey Quarter covers the former precinct of this royal monastery.

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