The Holy Brook provided Reading Abbey with fresh water and with power. It’s thought that the monks altered its flow in places to aid agriculture. In the 12th Century, the Abbey built a mill just downstream from today’s Library. This ran in various forms until 1959. Some of its arches can till be seen just below the Library. Today the Holy Brook runs right underneath the Library, which was built on the site of the King’s Stables just down from the Abbey Gateway.