THE ARCADE IN THE ARCADIA: THOMAS BEWICK, CHILDREN’S BOOKS & RURAL READERS

Thomas Bewick vignette at the end of the introduction to “The Predatory Gulls” section in A History of British Birds, Vol. II, Water Birds

Join Professor Kristin Bluemel, Leverhulme Visiting Professor at Newcastle University, as she explores the work of eighteenth-century artist, writer, and naturalist Thomas Bewick. This talk organised by Centre for Book Cultures and Publishing (CBCP) will explore the ways in which Bewick’s illustrations and the appeal of his work to children were fundamental in establishing nineteenth-century […]

THE MERL FORTNIGHTLY BOARD SATURDAYS

Grade Up to Elite Cow.

Join The MERL team for a relaxed opportunity to play board games with others This year at The MERL we are focussing on a theme of ‘CARE.’ Through our projects and programming, we will address ideas of ‘care’ in relation to a range of current issues, including the climate crisis, guarding green space, the future […]

BISCUIT TOWN: 200 YEARS OF HUNTLEY & PALMERS IN READING

Reading is celebrating 200 years of biscuit heritage in 2022 In 1822, one of the most famous names in baking, Huntley & Palmers biscuits, began life as a small baker’s shop in London Street, Reading. Within 40 years, the company that created Nice biscuits, the Gingernut and Bath Olivers, was exporting its goods across the […]

“GO AS YOU PLEASE”: QUESTIONING LEISURE AND GREEN SPACE

“Go-as-you-please” is the University’ Museum Studies students’ Final Year Exhibition. The students used The MERL collections to explore questions of leisure and green space and how this affects other communities in urban and rural areas. Examining how the Covid 19 pandemic has impacted leisure and tourism, their exhibition explores themes of inclusivity, accessibility and laws […]

MUSEUMS, MY WAY

Free sessions developed with Autism Berkshire Reading Museum and The Museum of English Rural Life recently launched Museums, My Way, a new series of sessions for neurodiverse visitors of all ages. These sessions, developed with Autism Berkshire, provide a safe environment to explore the museums at times when they are usually closed to the public […]

COMMUNITY VOICES

Detail of quilt made by The Rising Sun in The MERL COmmunity Voices display

This year at The MERL we are focussing on a theme of ‘CARE.’ Through our projects and programming, we will address ideas of ‘care’ in relation to a range of current issues, including the climate crisis, guarding green space, the future of farming and food security, caring for our collections and caring for people including […]

THE MERL MONTHLY CHATTY CAFÉ

two men smiling as they sit outside in the MERL cafe

An informal drop-in for caregivers This is an opportunity for caregivers and loved ones to drop into The MERL café and, welcomed by our volunteers and staff, socialise and be inspired by the museum collections and sensory resources, sharing thoughts and reflections. Buy a drink from the café and get free cake! This is a […]

THE COMMONS: RE-ENCHANTING THE WORLD

A new installation in The MERL galleries… The commons defines the natural capital that we all share: land, air, and water. It is a reciprocal social system that cares for and preserves these resources. It relies on relationships of shared knowledge and creativity, which bind us together with more-than-human processes, forces, and resources. When the […]

BECOMING WITH WHEAT COMPANIONS: MONTHLY MEET-UPS

Would you like to be a ‘Becoming with Wheat Companion’ (BwW)? As part of ‘The Commons: Re-Enchanting the World’ project (March 2021 – April 2022), artist and co-curator of the project, Amanda Couch has been cultivating wheat in these raised beds with the Becoming with Wheat Companions, a group of volunteer growers from local allotments, community […]

  • Visit us

    Visit Us

    We are now fully open.

    Free admission.

    The Museum of English Rural Life

    University of Reading

    Redlands Road

    Reading

    RG1 5EX

    Plan your visit
  • Visit us

    Visit Us

    We are now fully open.

    Free admission.

    The Museum of English Rural Life

    University of Reading

    Redlands Road

    Reading

    RG1 5EX

    Plan your visit