CONSERVATION work has begun at one of Yorkshire’s greatest Cistercian monasteries to protect historic stonework.

The English Heritage team will be carrying out work at Byland Abbey in Coxwold – one of the country’s most impressive ruined sites.

The conservation work is on the west front of the Church, set against a backdrop of wooded hills.

It includes the remains of a circular rose window which inspired the design of the one set in York Minster.

A team of expert stonemasons will remove harmful vegetation and repoint the stone walls.

During this time the west front will be covered by 25-metre high scaffolding and will be inaccessible due to safety barriers.

The rest of the site will remain open as usual.

Work on the west front of the abbey will conclude in December.