Heritage Open Days: Brock Keep
Guided tours of three floors of Brock Keep, former armoury and gatehouse to Brock Barracks, now studios and art gallery. Colourful ground floor exhibition of the role of materials in military clothing. Meet current artists in working studios. Join in family activities.
Friday 20 September: 11am - 5pm
Saturday 21 September: 11am - 5pm
Sunday 22 September: 11am - 5pm
Tours of Brock Keep: Max 8 people per tour/session. 30 minutes, no booking required.
No lift to upper floors. Access for wheelchairs and pushchairs to ground floor only
Brock Keep, completed in 1877, is a beautiful example of the Victorian keeps built to aid recruitment and to increase pride in local regiments. They provided a ceremonial gatehouse, guardroom, fire engine house, and secure storage for arms, ammunition and all the kit needed by soldiers. They were designed at the War Office by distinguished architect Major H C Seddon of the Royal Engineers.
Reading’s Keep is one of the surviving few that have not been demolished or converted. It is grade II listed and is particularly special because of its setting next door to the Lutyens War Memorial and its original Army Depot that is still occupied by 7th Battalion the Rifles. Its original features are well preserved. The Keep is now owned by Reading Borough Council and since 1980 has provided artists' studios for OpenHand OpenSpace and Reading Space Studios, and exhibition space for many artists. In the early 1980s it was used as a shelter for homeless people.