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To: Alok Sharma MP

Save Reading Gaol for the community

Save Reading Gaol for the community

Act to ensure that your government thinks again and save this unique historical site for the community rather than selling the Gaol site purely for profit.

Why is this important?

Reading Gaol is of huge national and international cultural significance in terms of its history and its ties to Oscar Wilde’s incarceration there. For the LGBT community those connections to Oscar Wilde are of heightened importance. Wilde wrote “De Profundis,” from his cell and the site was later the inspiration for his poem: “The Ballad of Reading Gaol”

As a listed building and a Scheduled Monument, it is of national historical importance. The eastern section of the 900 year old Abbey church and quite possibly the site of Henry I’s tomb lie underneath the ground. The community in Reading and beyond feel that it's best future is as a cultural and arts site that can share this history and complete the Abbey Quarter for Reading.

The council submitted a bid for the site with the support of the community.

Matt Rodda MP for Reading East has said "I am concerned that the Government still want to sell the gaol to the highest bidder and I understand they now have a preferred bidder who they are working with."

Alok Sharma as the neighbouring MP for Reading West prior to the election spoke in support of saving the site, wore a 'save Reading Gaol T-shirt' and said he would back the campaign.

We call on him to act on these words now. As a member of the government he is in a unique position to ensure that this special site is saved for our community.

How it will be delivered

Given the current Corona virus situation we will deliver this petition via email to The Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP's office.

Reading, UK

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL

Reasons for signing

  • Whilst scrubbing away with my washing up liquid, I began looking at the brickwork and the wall. I was in the presence of something historic with so many stories to tell. Something that was worth saving. Something that is watching us create new stories now.
  • The site of Reading Gaol is hugely historical containing not only the gaol buildings but also, under them, the remains of the great and very important Abbey. Reading has a long and varied history and this site is very much at the heart of that. It should be celebrated and treasured for the community, not sold for the profit of developers. We need a real cultural centre in Reading and this site could provide it and make the people of Reading proud of their culture and heritage.
  • Reading is a vibrant and growing town, but it needs a cultural centre that brings the community together and ensures our rich history is not forgotten, or built over. It's important for all of Reading that this site is saved for culture and the arts, for all of us. Not just the for flat owners.


2020-04-16 02:39:19 +0100

500 signatures reached

2020-04-08 22:23:41 +0100

100 signatures reached

2020-04-08 19:06:09 +0100

50 signatures reached

2020-04-08 16:27:21 +0100

25 signatures reached

2020-04-08 10:05:01 +0100

10 signatures reached