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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 May, 2004, 09:35 GMT 10:35 UK
Gardens close for 2.1m upgrade
Forbury Gardens
The gardens will be closed to the public for a year
A 2.1m restoration project to conserve a town's historic abbey ruins and gardens gets under way on Friday.

Forbury Gardens in Reading, Berkshire, will be closed off for a year while the work is carried out.

Specialist restorers are to undertake vital conservation work to maintain the south transept and chapter house of the nearby abbey ruins.

Work will also be carried out on the Maiwand lion statue and bandstand during the lottery-backed scheme.

'Essential' work

The gardens themselves will be closed from 17 May until 2 May, 2005.

Work on the abbey ruins begins on Friday and the site, a scheduled ancient monument, will be closed off until 1 November.

Paul Falcini, head of conservation management at Wessex Archaeology, told BBC News Online the work was essential to maintain the existing ruins.

He said that archaeological work would also be carried out at a site in the gardens earmarked for a new keeper's lodge.

Events that normally take place in the gardens over the summer have been moved to other venues around the town.

Park closes for revamp
03 Feb 04  |  Berkshire

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