THE OFFICIAL reopening of the Abbey Ruins has been confirmed following a substantial restoration project of the town's oldest gems.

'Abbey Ruins Revealed' will take place on June 16 as part of this year’s Water Fest, thanks to a £3.15m conservation scheme.

Mayor Rose Williams confirmed the date for the opening of the 900-year-old site at the launch of the Reading Abbey gallery at Reading Museum on Monday.

History fans are invited to take in the fascinating history behind the Grade I listed site at the museum, before the summer opening.

Councillor Tony Page, deputy leader of the council, said: “I am delighted the council’s long-standing ambition to re-open the Abbey Ruins to the public is finally becoming a reality.

“In the Abbey Quarter, Reading boasts a site of national significance.

"It is fantastic this important heritage has been preserved for future generations to appreciate and I am very much looking forward to the reopening date.”

Reading Chronicle:

The ruins closed in 2009 as they were no longer safe to be open to the pubic. Heritage Lottery funding of £1.77m and match funding of £1.38m from the council has secured the future of the site for years to come.

The Abbey Gateway will be completed by April after CRL Restoration was appointed to bring the building up to scratch.

The site was founded by William the Conqueror's son Henry I in 1121.

The monarch was buried in the abbey after his death in Normandy.

The abbey played a key role in the country's history until Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries in the mid Sixteenth Century.

Councillor Sarah Hacker lead member for Culture, added: “I am absolutely thrilled we finally have a date for the diary and the Abbey Ruin’s reopening, coinciding with Reading’s popular Water Fest.

"It will be the must attend event of the year. I am sure, like me, many local people cannot wait to explore and enjoy the ruins again.

“Although the ruins are not open until June, there is a fun packed week to look forward to celebrating the new Abbey gallery at the museum, with abbey themed activities for the whole family to enjoy.”