The Abbey's Inner Gateway also known as the Abbey Gateway adjoins Reading's crown court and Forbury Gardens. The Inner Gateway is one of only two buildings that survived the dissolution, the other being the Hospitium. The Inner Gateway which once guarded the way into the monks' area with the Abbot's House from The Forbury, which was open to the general public. In the Middle Ages it was used as a meeting place between the Abbot and townsfolk and confrontations were common, particularly over the Mayoral elections.
Hugh Cook Faringdon, the last abbot of Reading was hanged outside the Abbey Gateway in 1539, bringing the site's monastic connection to an end.
In the late 18th century, it housed the Abbey School for Girls, which was attended by novelist Jane Austen. It was heavily restored by Sir George Gilbert Scott, after a partial collapse during a storm in 1861. The Abbey Gateway is Grade I listed building.
In February 2010 the Gateway was shut due to safety concerns, after stones fell from the building. Temporary fencing was put up around to protect pedestrians (see image).
... The gateway is built in red sandstone with gables to the front and rear ... The west face has a central arch for vehicles and a smaller arch to the south for pedestrians ...
... After the dissolution of the Abbey, Richard Boreman, the last Abbot, became Headmaster and the school moved to a chapel near St Peter's church in St Albans ... In 1553 the Crown sold the Abbey Church to the town for £400 (the value of the lead on its roof) and became a Church of England parish church for the new Borough of St Albans ... moved again to the Lady Chapel at the east end of the Abbey, which was separated with a wall made of smashed stones from the ancient shrine of St Alban from the rest of the Abbey, and was ...
Famous quotes containing the words gateway and/or abbey:
“Antithesis is the narrow gateway through which error most prefers to worm its way towards truth.”
—Friedrich Nietzsche (18441900)
“The Abbey always reminds me of that old toast, Above lofty timbers, the walls around are bare, echoing to our laughter, as though the dead were there.”
—Garrett Fort (19001945)