A stunning 13th-century County Durham priory is at risk of falling apart with multiple areas fenced off due to a risk of falling masonry.

Finchale Abbey in Durham was a Benedictine priory and it has been attracting visitors for centuries.

People travel across the country to see this historic building but they may soon be disappointed as several areas have been fenced off.

Signs put up around the abbey tell visitors that there is a risk of falling masonry.

Two areas of Finchale Abbey fenced off (Image: Northern Echo)

The site is managed by the charity English Heritage along with 400 other sites of special interest around the country.

The area has been inspected by conservators and structural engineers and multiple areas of the site have been fenced off.

Another sealed off area (Image: Northern Echo) Another sealed off area  (Image: Northern Echo)

A programme of repairs is currently being put together by English Heritage.

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The organisation has stated that the areas will be reopened once repair work means they are safe again.

An English Heritage spokesperson said: "English Heritage is a charity and we look after 400 special sites, many like Finchdale Priory which are free to enter.

"We greatly value the support of our visitors and members in helping us to maintain and conserve beautiful places like the Priory."