Museums on Wheels

Museum on Wheels poster

Our rolling programme, Museums on Wheels is bringing The MERL and Reading Museum to events across Reading with a collection-sharing roadshow offering hands-on activities inspired by ‘Our Green Stories’. Join us for surprising and inspiring insights into our collections and community connections. In 2023 our museums are rolling to: Saturday 10th June – 11 am […]

Summer Screen: MERLvellous Movies

Illustration of a family watching films on a screen outdoors

For the first time, we are bringing outdoor cinema to The MERL’s beautiful garden this Summer! Enjoy family films including Peter Rabbit, Shaun the Sheep and more. All you need to do is buy a ticket, pack your picnic (or enjoy the MERL’s café offerings), and blanket, and join us outside! Weds 2nd Aug, 11am: […]

Stitch Up

Threads and stitching on fabric

Stitch Up is Jelly’s relaxed sewing social. Bring your own hand sewing project to work on, contribute to our English paper pieced community quilt or make your sewing mark on the Reading Bayeux Tapestry – an ongoing community project creating a local version of the slightly more famous one housed at Reading Museum. Come and […]

‘Climate Change’ Artwork Display

Reading Climate Festival next to anIllustration from Climate Change © Ladybird Books Ltd., 2017

For Reading Climate Festival, we are adding some very special material to the Our Green Stories gallery trail at The MERL. The gallery trail explores six of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals through links to items in the MERL collections. In this new display, we will explore these Goals through the artwork from the Ladybird […]

Cheese Night

A black and white photo of lady in an apron holding a large round of double Gloucester cheese

Explore the story of cheese through The MERL’s archive and objects with collections specialists, and share a sociable evening discovering some delicious local cheeses and accompaniments, including a carefully paired drinks, all guided by the delightful Angela Brown, our Retail Supervisor and resident cheese expert! After an introduction to the MERL’s cheese-related objects from curator […]

Heritage Open Days at The MERL

Colour linocut of a hare running, on paper, UAC/10305

Book onto one of these special events for a unique chance to view a pop-up display of items from the University of Reading’s Special Collections and Art Collections, housed at The MERL site and not currently on public display. Material will be selected by our curatorial and archives team and will aim to celebrate the […]

The MERL Family Picnic and Farm Event with Miller’s Ark

Children in the MERL garden on a sunny day

JOIN US AT THE MERL TO MEET THE MILLER’S ARK ANIMALS AND ENJOY THE GARDEN Bring a picnic and blanket and enjoy a range of hand-on activities from The MERL and visit real farm animals from Miller’s Ark. Cost: Please contribute what you can at donation points on the day Drop-in, booking not required Suitable […]

Whiteknights Studio Trail at The MERL

A Batik - Still Life Abundant - by artist Nina O'Connell

This year is the 23rd year of the Whiteknights Trail. The work of around 40 artists will be displayed across many venues around the Whiteknights campus area. The MERL is delighted to be hosting two artists this year: Mark Ripley and Nina O’Connell. These artists have been selected especially to connect with the Reading Climate […]

Climate Change curator-led tour

Visitors in The MERL galleries

From food systems to Ladybird books, climate stripes to fossil fuels, join Curator of MERL Collections Dr Ollie Douglas and Guy Baxter, Director of Archive Services, on a conversational tour of The MERL galleries, to explore histories, collections, archives, and stories that connect to the global challenge of climate breakdown. This tour follows on from […]

Roots and Routes

A large painting depicting gypsy or traveller people with horses, dogs and caravans

Join us as we mark Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month The MERL will welcome the award-winning poet and maker Dr Jo Clement, who will read from her acclaimed first collection of poems Outlandish, in which she illuminates a hidden and threatened culture. The event will also feature Dr Neil Cocks (Department of English Literature), and […]

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    Visit Us

    The Museum is now fully open, following a major redevelopment, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

    Free Admission

    The Museum of English Rural Life

    University of Reading

    Redlands Road


    RG1 5EX

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