Forbury Gardens in Reading

Forbury Gardens

If you are ever at a loose end in Reading town centre try exploring Forbury Gardens. Initially constructed during the Victorian public park movement in 1854 when the botanical garden was created. The gardens purpose in the Victorian era were for relaxation, beauty and for public celebrations. They still provide the same purpose today popular with Reading town centre workers on their lunch break.

The gardens were restored in 2004/5 by Reading borough council with the help of a £2.1 million Lottery grant from the Fund’s Urban Parks Programme. The famous Maiwand lion has been restored as well as the bandstand,gateways,walls,fencing and the water feature.

It has been awarded a green flag award for sustainability, conservation and heritage and community involvement.

The gardens are located in front of a large ruined abbey founded by Henry I in 1121 and destroyed during Henry VIII dissolution of monasteries. The abbey slowly deteriorated over the years. Good news though an 8 million pound restoration is in the pipeline with the aim of creating Abbey Quarter cultural area. Work could potentially start sometime this year.

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