Heritage Open Days

OpenHand OpenSpace opened the ground floor of the Keep in 2011,  2012 and 2013 as part of this national event, allowing hundreds of visitors to see the guardroom, detention room, cells and fire engine house of what was once the gatehouse to Brock Barracks.  The Rifles Museum in the Wardrobe, Salisbury kindly lent items from their collection covering the history of the Royal Berkshire Regiment, including some displayed in the Keep before its own museum closed in the 1970s.  We are also grateful to Alan Overton for the loan of historical exhibits, to the Museum of Reading for providing display cabinets, to John Chapman for display boards, information about Trooper Potts VC, and to our many volunteers for helping with supervision of the exhibitions.

We will have a new display for Heritage Open Days in September 2014.
Free entry, free parking, childrens activities, guided tours of the Keep including artist's studios upstairs, photography activity (bring your camera), refreshments.

A sample of visitors' comments:

  • The Keep has been a complete revelation.  Steeped in history yet with contemporary relevance – full of practising artists making contemporary art.  Reading is very fortunate to have a place like the Keep. 
  • Fantastic to see a beautiful old building in Reading being used for such a good cause.  Thank you. 
  • Thank you for using such an historic building for the ‘real’ people.  Lovely to have the choice to stand in history and see the future in the artwork and exhibitions – harmoniously alongside the ‘museum’ items. 
  • Fascinating and very friendly and informal trip round a local landmark I’ve walked past many times and wondered about! 
  • Friendly staff/volunteers who are approachable and ready to answer any q’s.  Honoured to have seen upstairs working space in the watch tower and displays downstairs were thought provoking.  A trip back in time. 
  • A very interesting guide to the keep.  The keep itself is delightful.  Thank you very much for the tour