Vote for your favourite Abbey Gateway carved head

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Closes 1 Mar 2021



Hugh Faringdon


The last Abbot of Reading, accused of treason by Henry VIII, and publicly hung, drawn, and quartered outside the gateway in 1539.


Artist rendering of Hugh Faringdon

Queen Elizabeth I


Who used the abbot’s house and gateway as a royal palace the 1560s.

Artist rendering of Queen Elizabeth I head stop

Jane Austen


Who studied in the gateway from 1785 to 1786 when it was used as a classroom for Reading Ladies’ Boarding School.

Artist rendering of Jane Austen

Sir George Gilbert Scott


The leading architect who restored the gateway back in 1861 after a thunderstorm caused the archway to collapse.

Artist rendering of George Gilbert Scott head stop

Dr Jamieson Hurry


A local historian and philanthropist who gifted 12 carved heads in 1900.

Artist rendering of Dr Jamieson Hurry head stop

A modern stone mason


Based on a female member of the team that worked on the recent restoration of the Abbey.

Artist rendering of a head stop designed to look like one of the female members of the team who restored the Abbey.

1. Which of the proposed character designs would you choose for our Abbey Gateway head stop?
2. Why would you choose them?
3. If you would like to make any other comments, please write below