Norton Priory in Runcorn in £3.7m lottery cash restoration

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Media captionRestoration takes place at Norton Priory in Runcorn

Archaeologists are removing hundreds of Victorian tiles at the site of an excavated medieval priory in Cheshire as part of a £3.7m restoration project.

The tiles are being lifted from an undercroft, or cellar, at Norton Priory in Runcorn so the ground can be stabilised and levelled.

They will be relaid ahead of the priory's reopening in August 2016.

Senior Keeper Lynn Smith said the Heritage Lottery-funded project will reveal 900 years of history.

The priory was built for an order of Augustinian canons in 1134 before becoming an abbey.

It closed in 1536 during the reign of Henry VIII as part of his dissolution of the monasteries.

The tiles were laid by the Brooke family who built a stately home on the site and lived there for the next 400 years.

Image caption The priory closed in April 1536 during the first phase of Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries

The Norton Priory also secured a grant from the Pilgrim Trust.

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