Thursday, 14 July 2016

Forbury, The Abbey and King Henry I


Welcome to the blog.

With the sun out, a quick tootle round Forbury Gardens to check out the roses was in order.  A few checks were necessary to make sure I was in the right place.

Maiwand lion, check.

Pretty flowers, check.

Abbey ruins, check.

International Brigade Spanish Civil War Memorial sculpted by Eric Stanford, check.

The Blade, check.

Roses, check.

Good, definitely in the right place!  What about King Henry I though, William the Conqueror's youngest son born in 1068? Chances are, like Richard III, he could be buried under a church or a car park - in the grounds of Reading Abbey.

He was a good man, and there was great awe of him. In his day no man dared harm another' - The Peterborough Chronicle on Henry 1's character, 12th Century

'He preferred to contend by council rather than by the sword' - William of Malmesbury on Henry 1 c.1125

Work has just started with ground penetrating radar in St James' Church as a first phase to locate any buildings and King Henry and Queen Adelicia's tomb. Here's a link with more information about the project.  Reading's Hidden Abbey Project also has a blog if you'd like to follow the progress of investigations or learn more about King Henry I.

We'll have to watch this space!

Bye for now


  1. It will be fascinating to see what the outcome of the investigations is won't it. Imagine if he actually is buried there! I hope he is and that it will bring a renewed interest to this part of town and that works will happen to restore/make safe/make usable/reopen the abbey ruins. We will have to watch the space as you say!

    1. It's all very exciting! It brings history to life doesn't it. They did such a good job with Richard III.