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The aboriginals in Britain were Picts (Celts). They lived on island which is called Great Britain, on biggest island in Britain. But the Angles and Saxons later came across the sea and started to settle. The first coming was of the Angles, Saxons, Friesians and Jutes which were all different peoples from north Europe, who came by ship gradually moved to here. Word ‘England’ comes from ‘Angle’ the land of Angles – Angleland – England. In French is Angleterre which makes it very clear that is may talking about ‘anglo’ or the Angles.

After that the Vikings came from Scandinavia on their big long ships and they came to the north of England. Then they would go round destroying villages, taking all the metals, the valuable gold and silver, and killing lots of people. That was their enjoyment. And they often came from the north down towards the south. This is relevant because we find the earliest mention of Reading in roughly 672 AD or near with a reference to “Readdingus”.

Nowadays you might be wondering why you have come to the University of Reading when it would be much more sensible to come to the university of ‘reading’ because that is what most people do at university. Well, it’s pronounced differently from ‘reading’ because the name of Reading originally comes from ‘Readda Ingus’. The name ‘Readda’ is the name of the chief of the first people who settled and created the village in this area. ‘Ingus’ in Saxon means people, the people of Readda.

What does ‘Readda’ mean? Well nobody’s quite sure, but one theory is that Readda actually is cognate with red, and that the chief was red-haired – so these were the people of the red-haired chief.

On this site is possible to read much about different things, and we have taken the name “Readda” though it has no a direct link with “reading”. Simply it is our talisman.

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