Reading is a large town in Berkshire, to the west of London. It takes its name either from the Saxon for "(Place of) Readda's People", or the Celtic Rhydd-Inge,, which means "Ford over the River".
Reading was where the oldest recorded British song, "Sumer is icumen in", was written, but its major claim to fame was as one of the great pilgrimage centres of medieval England. It had been given the Hand of St. James by King Henry I and the Head of St. Philip by King John. Reading Abbey was founded in 1121.
Today, the town boasts many fine historic buildings including several magnificent churches, but is also known as a commercial centre, with a number of high-rise buildings built and planned.