National awards mark £4.5m restoration project for abbey

A £4.5M restoration of Selby Abbey which helped save the historic building from crumbling has been honoured with two national awards.

The abbey – the first monastery to be founded in the north after the Norman Conquest – has undergone major restoration to its stonework after an emergency appeal was launched in 2000. A survey had revealed the building was at risk of permanent closure because the stonework was crumbling so fast.

The 4.5m needed was raised by 2008, far earlier than expected, and now the restoration work which has just clinched the Royal Institute of British Architects Yorkshire White Rose Awards and the national Natural Stone Awards, is nearly complete.

Abbey high steward Charlie Forbes Adam said: "We are delighted to have won these two awards, acknowledging the quality of the restoration.

"We always believed it was important to carry out the work to the highest standards to recognise the abbey's national historic importance as a centre of worship for nearly 1,000 years."

"We wanted the best craftsmanship possible so that future generations could enjoy the beauty of the building too."

A further 230,000 has also been raised to restore the stonework of the abbey's north porch and to replace wrought iron gates and work will begin in spring 2011.