AN English Heritage ruin paid tribute to the master masons of the 13th Century yesterday with the laying of replica stone slabs.

Thirty-one stone insets have been placed around the museum at Rievaulx Abbey, near Helmsley, North Yorkshire, to replace tiles that had been damaged by severe frosts during the winter.

The stones have been made to echo those around the abbey that were made in the 1220s and carry the signature of each mason that made them.

Head custodian John Lax said: "All of the replica tiles have their own mason's mark that match some of the original marks in the abbey stones. The marks were carved into the stone in the past to identify the mason who laid it and so he would be paid accordingly.

"We managed to match the Bankers Marks to original ones around the abbey after some surveying work that was done by the York Archaeological Trust. They are quite subtle but a very nice touch to the Abbey."