Cliveden Conservation appointed to help restore Reading Abbey

1st February 2017

Cliveden Conservation is delighted to announce that they have been appointed by Specialist Heritage Principal Contactor, CRL Restoration, to help carry out consolidation works to the ruined walls of Reading Abbey. The conservation is part of the £3millon project ‘Reading Abbey Revealed’ which has been jointly funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Reading Borough Council. The conservation of the 900-year-old abbey will commence this spring with the aim of reopening the ruins to the public by 2018.

Cliveden Conservation will work on behalf of CRL Restoration as their specialist sub-contractor to make safe the tall rubble walls by securing loose masonry, consolidating friable mortar and applying soft capping to the tops of the walls to better protect against the weather.

Reading Abbey which was founded in 1121 by King Henry I and was one of northern Europe’s most renowned religious and political centres. By the 14th century, it was also one of the ten wealthiest monastic houses in England. After the Dissolution of the Monasteries (1539) the buildings were ruined, and the Abbey deteriorated over time: the limestone masonry blocks from the walls were used to provide building material for local construction, leaving only the rubble cores standing.

Lewis Proudfoot, Stone Section Manager of Cliveden Conservation, is looking forward to the restoration of Reading’s most iconic landmark.

“This is another fascinating project for our masonry conservation team. Having already carried out the consolidation trials for Reading Abbey two years ago, it is very exciting to be finally starting on the main works. We are looking forward to working with CRL Restoration to ensure this building stays standing for another few centuries.”

The conservation work will commence in early March and will be carried out in four phases. An active programme of public engagement and interpretation will take place throughout the project.