pic by George Evans
The other signs were all about the history of the amazing Abbey ruins that sit alongside the gaol. The photo shows part of it with the gaol in the background.
The signs also referred to the nearby Forbury Gardens which were once the monks' gardens. These now contain The Maiwand Lion, a memorial to the fallen from the 66th Regiment at the Battle of Maiwand in Afghanistan in 1880.
pic by Jim Linwood
At the excellent museum in Reading's Town Hall on Sunday morning, we saw a complete replica of the Bayeaux tapestry and decded that we don't have to go all the way to france to see the original now. We also heard how that rather beautiful grey brick Town Hall had recently been threatened with demolition to make way for a concrete ring road, but was saved by the local Civic Society. Then we were told that the prison is among the list of those that are to be closed very soon, as the government proposes building new and enormous ones to collect more of our criminal community together, presumably to to cut the cost of staffing so many of them. We wondered what was going to happen to that building.
Apart from Oscar Wilde (left), the other literary connection we found in Reading was at our hotel. It was called the Great Expectations which, of course, is the name of a Charles Dickens novel. The hotel was an inn with the guest rooms above the bar, and the the manager told us that it is believed to have originally been a Reading Room opened by Dickens (below) who did readings of his work there. The ground floor was also a fascinating warren of little three sided rooms facing a long bar with the corridor in between named the Dickens Walk.