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Hidden Abbey project

Radar survey at Reading Abbey in 2016

Radar survey at Reading Abbey in 2016

The Hidden Abbey Project was established to discover the extent and nature of the underground evidence of Reading Abbey and its burials. The Project is contemporary with, but not part of the Reading Abbey Revealed Project (RAR). However its findings will help inform the RAR interpretation of the Reading Abbey Quarter as well as the Ministry of Justice’s sale of Reading Gaol.

Reading Borough Council is coordinating the project, in tandem with the RC Diocese of Portsmouth and the Ministry of Justice, as the principal public landowners in the Abbey Quarter site, together with the Friends of Reading Abbey, Darlow Smithson Productions, and Philippa Langley of Little Marilyn Productions Ltd.

The aim of the Project was to use ground-penetrating radar to locate the boundaries and extent of Reading Abbey in its current modern setting and to survey the site to better interpret the Abbey Ruins whilst locating possible sites for future investigation. The survey was carried out in summer 2016. The results of this survey were presented within a report showing the location of a number of geophysical anomalies probably related to the abbey’s construction, and possible graves, as well as a number of other potential archaeological targets. Other features identified include a former road, disturbance from tree roots and utilities.

Date updated: 01 Feb 2017

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