The first gallery you come to as you enter the Museum, Reading: People & Place explores Reading's long history, from the present day back to its origins as a Saxon settlement in the 6th century.

Find out how Reading people lived in the past and how both famous and ordinary men and women made the town we know today.

This gallery also houses our community case for small-scale temporary displays from our collections or objects loaned by local groups. Please see our Museum Projects page if you belong to a group which would be interested in using the case.

Gallery Highlights include:

  • Unique Romanesque cloister carvings from Reading Abbey
  • Our stunning 1575 portrait of Queen Elizabeth I
  • The huge 17th century gates of the original Oracle workhouse
  • Seats from the Elm Park football ground
  • Jacksons Corner Clock - from Reading's famous department store
  • Latest acquisitions from the Reading Foundation for Art
  • Watch out for our new Abbey Quarter displays, which will open in late 2017

So much to learn about the area. There is a reproduction of the Reading Abbey in its heyday and lots of artefacts to see and learn about.

Reading Museum visitor

Watch this space! We are working on this Gallery as part of our Reading Abbey Revealed project. Some areas may not be open as we work to improve the Abbey displays during 2017.