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Reading (35 London St), Berkshire

(51°27′11″N, 0°58′5″W)
Reading (35 London St)
SU 718 732
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Berkshire
now Reading
medieval Salisbury
now Oxford
  • Ron Baxter
14 May 1997

Please use this link to cite this page - https://www.crsbi.ac.uk/view-item?i=14437.

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Feature Sets

35 London Street, now (4 November 2013) the headquarters of R.I.S.C., is a terraced house of three storeys with a large basement extending under the road. It now boasts an imposing baroque facade. The fragments of sculpture here described were discovered built into the fabric of the first floor and basement during a major restoration of the building in 1997. The stones were found in two locations: (i) built into a wall on the first floor, and (ii) built into walls in the basement. Details of the location of each stone are given below, but they are all described under the heading of loose sculpture, since it is intended that they should be removed from their present locations for display in the public areas of the building.


London Street linked the town with the main road to London, and large houses are depicted along both sides of it in John Speed's town plan of 1610.


Loose Sculpture


It seems likely that part of the building was constructed using ashlar blocks and carved stone quarried from Reading Abbey. Geological confirmation that the stone is indeed Taynton would help to verify this opinion, since it is known that this limestone was extensively used in the ashlar facing of the abbey church, and some of the carving of the cloister. The capitals are of similar, though not identical, designs, and the three designs of voussoir are closely related too. It is possible, therefore, that the carved stones came from a light, multi-ordered structure attached to a wall, such as a wall-arcade. The moulded profiles and scallop capitals point to a date in the second half of the 12thc., rather later than the earliest work from the abbey church, which is richly decorated with the chevron ornament.


D. Phillips, The Story of Reading, Newbury, 1980 (rev. ed. 1990), 44.