Reading Council Refuses to Give Up on Reading Gaol Bid

The Council has expressed its extreme disappointment after the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) indicated that the town’s bid to transform Reading Gaol into a beacon of arts, heritage and culture has been rejected, but has vowed to keep its bid alive as a future option.

Reading Borough Council (RBC) understands the MoJ is likely to once again market the site for sale after it decided the Council’s £2.6 million bid – backed by a passionate arts and cultural community in Reading and beyond – was not of a high enough monetary value.

Rather than withdrawing its bid at this time, the Council is instead making a public commitment to keep it on the table in the hope that MoJ Ministers will intervene and re-consider the advice of its marketing agents.

Read the press release and download the RBC plan here

BAS has been involved with RBC and other stakeholders in discussions about the future of the site. We have strongly expressed our support for a community use.

The images show RBCs submitted plan for the gaol. Presentation © Futurecity 2021

BAJ085 published

Berkshire Archaeological Journal volume 85 has been published. It will shortly be distributed to all members and subscribers.

Others can purchase a copy by emailing journal(at)

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This is a special issue as it marks a collaboration with Cotswold Archchaeology. All articles are reports from excavations that they have conducted in and around Berkshire in the last 3 years.

Front cover


Foreword by Richard Massey

An Early Roman Site at Beech Hill Road, Spencers Wood, Berkshire by Richard Massey and Grace Perpetua Jones, with Adam Howard

Roman, medieval and post-medieval settlement at Cutbush Lane, Shinfield, Berkshire by Richard Massey and Joe Whelan

An Early Roman enclosed settlement at Kentwood Farm, Wokingham by Richard Massey and Joe Whelan

Iron Age and medieval features at Keephatch, Beech Lane, Wokingham by Jacek Gruszczynski and Matt Nichol.

Roman and medieval occupation at Shoppenhanger Manor, Maidenhead by Ray Kennedy and Richard Massey.


Berkshire Archaeological Society Events – from September 2020

Government advice is likely to remain that gatherings are not permitted or advised.  We are, therefore, planning to hold all BAS activities from September on Zoom.

See the events page for a list of monthly lectures. Synopses will be posted separately when available.

Members attending meetings on Zoom will be advised of meeting joining instructions beforehand. Not all Study Group meetings are listed as they are usually confirmed the week before.

from Julie Worsfold, BAS Lectures and Day School Organiser & Chair Communications Working Group

Image (think of it as geofizz!): This scanning electron microscope image shows COVID-19 virus (yellow), also known as 2019-nCoV and SARS-CoV-2, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells (pink) cultured in the lab. Image credit: NIAID-RML / CC BY 2.0.