Page last updated at 10:43 GMT, Sunday, 22 March 2009

Work starts to repair abbey ruins

Reading Abbey Ruins
The condition of the ruins have been made worse due to recent cold spells

Work has started to repair part of the ancient ruins at Reading Abbey in Berkshire.

A specialist stonework company has been contracted by Reading council to carry out initial repairs to the ancient ruins, adjacent to Forbury Gardens.

The project will continue over the next few weeks with special concentration on the ruins' Cloister Wall.

The work includes dismantling areas at the top of the high walls, where water has been entering into the stonework.

A protective layer will also be put on top of the stonework and specialist stonemasons will unpick parts of masonry that may be coming loose.

Councillor Graeme Hoskin, member for culture, said: "The Abbey Ruins are not only hugely important to Reading residents, but are also of national historical and archaeological importance.

"The works to repair and protect the ruins are therefore both extremely specialised and painstaking but it's vital we do this work properly in order to preserve them for future generations."

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