We have four days off between pet sitting assignments so we are now in Reading, England. Reading “was an important trading and ecclesiastical centre in the medieval period, as the site of Reading Abbey, one of the richest monasteries of medieval England with strong royal connections, of which the 12th century abbey gateway and significant ruins remain.” ( wikipedia) The Abbey is under a two year renovation at the moment. Here is a photograph of the 12th century gateway as it looks today.
Inside this gateway in 1539, Henry the VIII had Hugh Faringdon, the last abbot of the abbey, convicted of treason (a verdict delivered before the trial began) and had him hanged, drawn, and quartered . Here is a timeline for these medieval events.
This gateway is actually a tall medieval building where in 1783 Jane Austen and her sister went to boarding school. Jane was 9 years old. She spent three years there, learning sewing, dancing, spelling, French and music.
The renovation should be finished by 2018 and then you can walk through the ancient ruins of this important historical place.
We also took a river cruise on the Thames. We took the Caversham Lady toward Oxford with the trusty captain Ben at the wheel.
The day was overcast and soon turned to rain, but I did get some photographs of the river and the lovely homes that faced it.
The river is a favorite place for people to feed the swans, ducks and geese.
We have one more day here before we go to take care of Pablo the cat in London. Lots of rain is forecast, so we’re planning to visit the Reading Museum tomorrow.