Cheese Night (Postponed to 30th Nov)

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

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. List of free activities to enjoy on the day: Miller’s Ark mobile farm – pet and feed […]

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 […]

University of Reading Community Festival

Join us at the University's first Community Festival! We're delighted that our Museums on Wheels stand will be rolling up the hill to the University of Reading's first Community Festival on the Whiteknights Campus! We'll be running a fun family activity inspired by Museum Partnership Reading's Our Green Stories campaign. The brand-new one-day festival is [...]

MERL Fashion Week

Detail of a square silk scarf screen printed and hand worked by designer Caitlin Hinshelwood, inspired by a visit to The MERL
Celebrating all things sewing and fashion, with a rural twist MERL Fashion Week is a product of the Barnett Project which has been exploring the stories and themes relating to the 97 sewing machines in the Barnett collection at The MERL. There will be new displays showcasing the collection, reminiscence sessions and events inspired by [...]

POSTPONED: Upcycled jeans: Denim coil pots workshop

Fabric and wool laid out on a table next to fabric coil pots
  This workshop is postponed. We will update this page with a new date as soon as it is arranged. Apologies for any disappointment caused. Join us at this workshop to find out how you can repurpose your own clothing in creative ways Fast fashion is leading to tonnes of clothing being discarded daily which [...]

MERL Fashion Week: Reminiscence Session

Sewing machine
Join us for this opportunity to share your family histories in relation to sewing machines. There will be a unique chance to view some of the MERL’s sewing machines from our stores and see what memories they evoke. We would like to collect your reminiscence, which will be turned into an online exhibition, with potential [...]
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    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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