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Caversham Road: An area shaped by Victorian aesthetics and innovation

Heritage Open Days 2022

11 & 12 Sep, 11:00

A guided walk around a Victorian townscape that still has many traces of its rich industrial past as well as plenty of original architectural features.

Come and see an area where a department store and brick magnates left their mark and the bicycles for the British Army's first cycling regiment were made.

The area has had a wide range of industries over the years, from the malthouses that sold to Simonds Brewery to the iron foundries near the Thames that served the railways and other light industries such as vehicle works and Cox & Wyman printers, who operated in the area for over 100 years. For many years this area has been something of a neglected backwater, and partly for this reason a surprising amount of its heritage has remained to this day.

Join us for a short guided walk exploring the area’s rich history, starting from outside the Moderation pub on Caversham Road. The walk will be on level ground and will last about 90 minutes.

This walk is organised by the Bell Tower Community Association, which represents local residents and runs local events – the association is itself named after the distinctive tower on the area’s school.

During the walk, we shall be showing historic photographs to the group to help you visualise the Victorian street scenes and the figures from the past who shaped not only the local area but Reading and even the country as a whole.

Can't make it? Take a virtual walk instead!