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where Monks looked after the Poor


 

  • The Orts Gate was the south-eastern outer stone gateway into the 'enclave' of Reading Abbey.
  • A monk called the 'porter' looked after the gate. He sat in a room within the gateway watching who was coming and going. He decided whether to let them in or out, or not.
  • A monk called the 'almoner' would regularly give 'alms' or 'orts' (food) to the poor at the gate.
  • The poor people would come along Orts Lane (London Road), then turn north up 'the Orts' (Watlington Street). They crossed over the River Kennet at Orts Bridge and received their food at the Orts Gate. Everything was Orts!

 

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