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Museum of English Rural Life

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Address: 6 Redlands Road | University of Reading, Reading RG1 5EX, England
Phone Number:
+44 118 378 8660
Website
Today
2:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Closed now
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Hours:
Tue - Fri 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sat - Sun 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Description:

The Museum of English Rural Life at the University of Reading houses the...

The Museum of English Rural Life at the University of Reading houses the most comprehensive national collection of objects, books and archives relating to the history of food, farming and the countryside. The museum galleries and garden are closed until 19th October 2016 for a Heritage Lottery funded redevelopment project. The staircase hall displays, and library and archives reading room are still open (Monday 10am to 5pm and Tuesday to Friday 9am to 5pm)

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 84 reviews
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  • 44
    Excellent
  • 31
    Very good
  • 6
    Average
  • 0
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  • 2
    Terrible
Very good in parts

Perhaps I was expecting too much, but I was a little disappointed overall by my visit. The display of wagons was very good and there was an explanation of each on the wall behind... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 3 days ago
Malmcdo
,
Market Drayton, United Kingdom
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84 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 83: English reviews
Market Drayton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Perhaps I was expecting too much, but I was a little disappointed overall by my visit. The display of wagons was very good and there was an explanation of each on the wall behind you. Just a little niggle from one who is interested in the detail, the shafts were all together, rather than on the wall behind each one.... More 

Helpful?
Thank Malmcdo
Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
182 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 16, 2017 via mobile

MERL is open again after apparently £3m refurbishment, amazing how little you actually get for £3m these days. It's still the same collection of stuff (baskets, barrows, carts and whittled spoons) just arranged a bit differently. We felt some of the exhibit labelling could have been better, and perhaps more use of audio visual would have helped to bring the... More 

Helpful?
Thank arborfieldman
Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 15, 2017

We visited for the first time this Sunday morning (dad mid 60s and daughter mid 30s), despite having lived locally for a number of years. What a mistake! The museum is housed in a beautiful Reading red brick building, and is part of the university. The car park was almost empty. A warm welcome awaited us on the front desk.... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Elizabeth G
AlisonHilton, Public Relations Manager at Museum of English Rural Life, responded to this review

We're so pleased that you have now discovered the Museum. Thank you for taking the time to write such a lovely review. We're delighted that you enjoyed the new displays and interactives and hope that you'll be back again soon to visit the galleries upstairs and try out the cafe! More 

Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 15, 2017

I have family who work near here so I've popped in here to kill time before only to end up having them meet me there and the pair of us spend time walking around the place! It's really in depth in aspects of life and local culture throughout history that usually doesn't get covered. It's really nice to see, I... More 

Helpful?
Thank meunda
AlisonHilton, Public Relations Manager at Museum of English Rural Life, responded to this review

Thank you for visiting this weekend and for taking the time to write a review! We're very pleased you found the new gallery content interesting and hope you make it back soon to explore further. More 

1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 29, 2016 via mobile

I have to admit that I'm impressed by the museum. Those who left reviews saying 'old junk', clearly have no idea on the importance of the collection and what the historical significance. It's like going to a beach and complaining that it's full of sand. Finally the town has something that has been well funded and thought out. Hopefully this... More 

Helpful?
Thank Lewis G
Gosport
Level Contributor
93 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 7, 2016

Heard about this on my local TV News and it sounded worth a visit. If you are of more mature years it will probably be more interesting (there is very few inter-active items). That said, it might be useful to show youngsters just how the farm work was done in the 1800s and see the sort of lives they led.

Helpful?
Thank Tyzllmyne
Washington, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
64 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 1, 2016

This museum is really well presented. It has a wide range of interesting exhibits, which are explained by information panels which link in to the social circumstances of the times. It also has a pleasant garden and a small cafe.

Helpful?
1 Thank FELICITY L
AlisonHilton, Public Relations Manager at Museum of English Rural Life, responded to this review

Thank you for visiting The MERL and taking the time to write a review. We're delighted that you enjoyed the new museum. More 

Andover, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
141 reviews
65 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 18, 2016

Having seen this Museum advertised this was our main reason for coming to Reading for the day to see the three University Museums. We were not disappointed, it is easy to see where the 3 million pound revamp was spent, it really is a superb collection of early rural life artefacts including the largest collection of old farm wagons I... More 

Helpful?
Thank Peter P
AlisonHilton, Public Relations Manager at Museum of English Rural Life, responded to this review

Thank you very much for visiting the new museum and for taking the time to write such a lovely review. We are delighted that you felt it was worth your trip! It makes all the effort worthwhile! We are sorry that all the labels were not in place, and we are indeed preparing further keys to cases and exhibits which... More 

Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 15, 2016

This is an unusual place, out of the way, but full of interesting exhibits. The University started its rural collection just after the Second World War, and was able to rescue a lot of rural material before the old crafts died out. It has just been extensively improved with a lottery grant.

Helpful?
Thank Alan_Green_Reading
AlisonHilton, Public Relations Manager at Museum of English Rural Life, responded to this review

Thank you for visiting the new museum and for taking the time to write a review. We are pleased that you found it interesting. More 

Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
65 reviews
64 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 14, 2016

There is limited Free Parking on site. About 15 cars. You must get a Free Badge from Reception to display in your Windscreen. Otherwise there is 2 hour parking in the Streets around the Museum but they are fought over by people attending the local Hospital. Saturday afternoons seems a good time to visit and park. Entrance is free.The Museum... More 

Helpful?
Thank TonyPearce
AlisonHilton, Public Relations Manager at Museum of English Rural Life, responded to this review

Thank you for visiting the new museum and for taking the time to write a review. Parking is always going to be an issue because of our location, but there's usually enough space for everyone, and we can provide permits for the University car park a short walk away if there are no spaces in our own carpark. We're only... More 

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