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Bibles, bags, beer and books. A walk of St Mary's & Castle Street Conservat...

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St Mary's Chapel, Castle Street

14 Castle Street

Reading

RG1 7RD

United Kingdom

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A guided walk of the St Mary's/ Castle Street Conservation area and also just "over the border"

We invite you to join us on this walk, organised by Reading Civic Society to celebrate Conservation Areas as part of Heritage Open Weekend. It will be led by Margaret Simons, a lecturer and local historian, who will take us from St Mary's Chapel in Castle Street, through this Conservation area slightly to the west of Reading town centre along Castle Street and then down Bridge Street and finishing at the former British School towards the top of Southampton Street.

The walk commences from the steps of St Mary's Chapel at 2pm.

Starting at St Mary’s Castle Street Margaret will explain the history of the Butts area, Castle Hill and the Sun Inn (did it really have elephants in the cellars?)

As we walk along Castle Street we will hear about to hear about Georgian buildings you can see today but also gain an understanding of what was lost when the Courts and the Police station were built in the 1970s. The building of the Alms-houses will be explained and how they are maintained today.

Then as we pass down Bridge Street the H+G Simonds brewery comes “into view” and its final days as Courage Brewery. Its former site, and that of the former bus station is now the site of the Oracle Shopping Centre, we will hear about the origins of the name and the newer development.

Then to St Giles Church, at the bottom of Southampton Street. We will learn about the church and the history of the area and in particular about Huntley Boorne & Stevens, (biscuit tin maker for Huntley & Palmer) whose factory was sited in the heart of this area.

We finally head up to the former British School, the Lancastrian School, towards the top of Southampton Street.

The walk will take approximately 90 minutes.

The tour will take around 90 minutes

Cost: Donations will be weclome on the day of £3 per head to cover the cost of running the event. Students and children free.

Numbers: The maximum per walk is 15. It is to enable us to keep everyone together so they can hear the guide and for Health and Safety reasons.

FAQs

Are there ID or minimum age requirements to enter the event?

No ID requirement.

Suitability for Children: The walking pace will be brisk and to get the best out of the walk you will need to be able to hear the guide. Unless there is a specific interest, the tour may not be suitable for children under 14 years of age.

How can I contact the organiser with any questions?

The organiser is Richard Bennett, Chair of Reading Civic Society. Tel 01189 598350. Email:bennettbaker@msn.com

What are my transport/parking options for getting to and from the event?

Access by bus and walking is best. The meeting point, St Mary's Chapel is in the centre of Reading. Parking options include the The Oracle Car Park.


Background

2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the passing of the act which led to Conservation Areas being established across the UK. Civic Voice, the national charity of the civic movement, is asking that communities to join together, as part of a Big Conservation Conversation, to recognise how conservation areas have helped keep many of our towns distinctive and to say that “My Conservation Area Matters”.

In particular they have asked local Civic Societies to arrange events to increase awareness of Conservation Areas. There are 15 Conservation Areas in Reading. This walk was first run on 16 +18 June 2017.

Reading Civic Society working as part of the Reading Conservation Area Advisory Committee, established in 2016, has arranged this walk.



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Date and Time

Location

St Mary's Chapel, Castle Street

14 Castle Street

Reading

RG1 7RD

United Kingdom

View Map

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