This is an ancient city, first mentions of which belong to the 8th century. At that time this was a small village, which was mostly developing due to the foundation of the Abbey. However, just several centuries after the foundation Reading was already one of ten largest cities of the country. In the 18th century large deposits of iron ore were discovered near the city. This fact has given rise to building of first industrial plants.
To our luck in this city have survived numerous old buildings, churches and cultural institutions. The oldest architectural places of interest of Reading are the Cathedral and Church of the Virgin Mary, which is located nearby. In the 7th century a small wooden chapel stood on the site of the church. Then a large-scale construction started here, but the architectural ensemble was completed only in the 11th century. Another important historical monument is the abbey, which was damaged severely in 1538. Nowadays visitors can see the survived parts of walls and gates, the main church and a mill during an excursion.
One more religious place of interest is located in the center of Reading. This is St. James Church, the building of which took place in 1840. Despite the fact that the church is considered relatively "young", it is no less popular among tourists comparing to old churches and temples. Continue your acquaintance with the history of the city by making an excursion to the old school opened yet in the 12th century. It is worth noting that the school works even today. This is not the only educational facility that may be interesting to visitors. In 1892 here was opened a university; nowadays this university is considered one of the most beautiful and prestigious in England. It is worth noting numerous museums of Reading. The most popular and frequently visited are Archaeological Museum and Museum of Zoology.