Welcome to the Reading Museum. Explore our eleven galleries of amazing objects local and global. There’s something for everyone from biscuit tins to beetles, Romans to Rodin. We halso have an exciting programme of temporary exhibitions.
The Museum offers a host of family friendly activities and facilities, including hands-on workshops suitable for all ages from toddlers to adults.
Our cafe offers home-made cakes, fair-trade tea and coffee. In the shop you can browse a range of gifts that includes Huntley & Palmers biscuits and tins, Reading memorabilia and Victorian-style toys. Follow the links to find out more.
We offer a comprehensive education service available through our Hands-On Learning programme. Call for more details.
Admission is free to the Riverside Museum at Blake's Lock, which is open every day.
Sunday & Bank Holidays 1100-1600
Closed: Monday - except Half Term (October and February 10.00-16.00)
Entry to the Reading Museum is free.
There is no parking immediately outside the Museum.
The Museum is 2 minutes walk from Reading railway station.
Nearest car parks are at Garrard St, Queens Rd, The Oracle and Reading station.
At the Reading Museum you can explore the social and natural history of Reading and surrounding area, including:
The Biscuit Town: Uncover the story behind biscuit makers Huntley & Palmers
Learn about the daily life and fascinating history of the once-splendid Reading Abbey.
Explore what the Romans did for us in the Silchester Gallery of Roman Life.
Britain's copy of the Bayeux Tapestry - displayed in its magnificent 70 metre entirety in a purpose-built gallery. This faithful replica was made by 35 skilled Victorian women embroiderers in 1885.(THERE ARE REGULAR FREE GUIDED-TOURS EVERY SATURDAY 14.15-15.00!)
Changing visual art and special exhibitions.
World Cultures, Weapons and War, Trade and Commerce, Toys and Hobbies, Social History, Photography, Natural Sciences, Music, Inland Waterways, Fine Art, Decorative and Applied Art, Costume and Textiles, Coins and Medals, Archives, Archaeology
Key artists and exhibits
- Huntley & Palmers.
- Biscuit Town.
- Biscuit tins.
- Reading Abbey.
- Sumer is incumen in.
- Forbury Gardens.
- Reading Festival.
- Reading Festival history.
- Britain's Bayeux Tapestry.
- C20 art.
- Box Room gallery.
- Marcus Adams. Gilbert Adams.
- Alan Caiger Smith.
- Social and natural history of Reading.
- Silchester Roman collection.
- Madejski Art Gallery.
- John Madejski Art Gallery.
A Sense of Place
- 24 October 2015 — 8 May 2016 *on now
An exhibition of the very best of our twentieth century landscape paintings as well as a chance to see the huge Reading Tapestries by John Piper.
Works by well-known artists such as Eric Ravilious, Paul Nash, Joan Eardley and David Bomberg are represented. Places depicted are rural and urban landscapes as far afield as New York and Mexico. The exhibition includes high quality work by local craftspeople and nationally respected poets in response to the paintings.
Silchester: Life on the Dig
- 8 December 2015 — 7 February 2016 *on now
Last summer Jenny Halstead was artist in residence for the final year of excavations by the University of Reading at the Roman town of Calleva Atrebatum. Find some of her sketchbooks and drawings together with all the completed paintings on a loop, beside the extraordinary artefacts from Calleva excavated by Victorians in the museum’s Silchester Annexe. Look out for accompanying workshops with Jenny ‘sketchbooks – creative story lines’ and, in response to requests, another chance to join a Practical Introduction to Archaeological Ceramics Study Day, coming up in January 2016.
Visit us throughout the half term and enjoy Medieval themed art and craft activities.
How to obtain
All ages, FREE, drop in
Bayeux Tapestry Tours
Enjoy a guided tour of the famous full-size facsimile Tapestry. Tours are suitable for all ages and take place on Saturdays at 14.15-15.00.
How to obtain
There is no need to book for the tours and they are free - just turn up.
Visitors can discover more about the collections, or ask for help in identifying interesting objects (NB no valuations can be given).
12.00pm - 4.00pm
How to obtain
FREE, drop in
Tales for Tots
Drop in for a story inspired by and using objects from the Reading Museum collection. Stories are suitable for children aged 0-5 years and take place on term time Wednesdays, 10.30-11.30.
How to obtain
Stories are free and there is no need to book - just drop in.
Reading Foundation for Art enquiries
0118 937 3400