Reading, a major town in England is situated at the convergence of the River Kennet and the River Thames, about 40 miles from London. It belongs to the County of Berkshire and has served as the county town since the 19th century. In the medieval era Reading was a significant town in Britain, containing a major monastery with firm royal affiliations. Today it still functions as a commercial hub, and is linked to the insurance and information technology industries. Reading also houses two universities and a sizable student population.
Reading Abbey was founded by Henry I in 1121, and thereby Reading became a destination for pilgrimage. The abbey was almost totally destroyed in 1538 when Henry VIII decreed the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Reading was Berkshire’s biggest town by 1525, and eventually became wealthy through the cloth trade.
The 18th century saw the development of the brewing industry which made the town famous. A large iron works was also established in the town. In the 19th century Reading’s manufacturing industries developed rapidly, and the town received its own police force. The town became renowned for the 3 Bs – beer, bulbs and biscuits.
The University of Reading is an acclaimed institution of higher education, offering traditional as well as more unusual qualifications. The university has its origins in the Schools of Art and Science created in Reading in 1860-70. Later these institutions became part of Christ Church of Oxford University and became known as University College, Reading. A petition for a Royal Charter was granted in 1925, making the institution the University of Reading. The university acquired Whiteknights Park, which would become its main campus, in 1947. The university embarked on a merger with Bulmershe College of Higher Education in 1984; the alliance was finalized in 1989. In 2008 the university declared a merger with Henley Management College to create the Henley Business School, to take advantage of Henley’s capabilities in the Business field.
The University of Reading War Memorial Clock Tower is one of the historical highlights in the area. Commemorating the fallen soldiers of World War I, their names are listed in the interior of the building. The years ‘1914’ and ‘1918’ have been integrated into the clock.
The visitor who seeks a Reading hotel will find the Millennium Madejski Hotel Reading ideal for a pleasurable stay. This hotel in Reading offers well appointed rooms, excellent dining and attentive service to satisfy the expectations of the discerning traveller.