On 13th October we want to surround Reading Gaol in a “mass hug” as a demonstration of the wish to have Reading Gaol as an arts hub and museum accessible to all. Reading Gaol is an important heritage site. Oscar Wilde was incarcerated there and wrote “The Ballad of Reading Gaol”. It was built on the site of Reading Abbey and Henry I may be buried there. The Ministry of Justice want to sell the Gaol to the highest bidder, most likely a housing developer. We want to surround the Gaol with people linking hands to show our support for it becoming part of the town, permanently open to the public as an arts hub and museum. This would provide a centre for local groups and individuals to participate in arts and crafts activities and performance spaces.

We will congregate at the Reading Abbey Ruins before moving into position around the Gaol.

Date And Time:

  • Sun, 13 October 2019
  • 14:00 – 16:00 BST



Reading Abbey Ruins

Abbey Street



Image credits: Sally Castle and Peter Hay(Two Rivers Press), Lynda Chater