The Keep was built in 1877 as part of Sir Edward Cardwell’s Army reforms, which enhanced the role of local regiments. Designed at the War Office by architect Major H C Seddon of the Royal Engineers, a number of these Keeps were built in different English counties to act as local landmarks as well as function as gatehouses, armouries and regimental stores. Reading’s Keep is one of the surviving few that have not been demolished or converted. It is grade II listed and is particularly special because of its setting next to its original Army Depot. The Keep is now owned by Reading Borough Council and since the 1980 has provided artists' studios and exhibition space for OpenHand OpenSpace and Reading Space Studios. In the early 1980s it was used as a shelter for homeless people. Its original features are well preserved.
|View of the Lutyens Cenotaph|
|Original lift mechanism|
|Lift rails on back stairwell|
|Front Stair windows|
|Temporary protective scaffolding|