Work has started on a £3m restoration project at the ruins of Reading Abbey almost eight years after it was closed to the public.
The 900-year-old town centre structure was suffering with "poor and rapidly deteriorating walls" when it was shut by the council in 2009.
On Monday contractors CRL Restoration began conservation work, with the site expected to reopen in 2018.
It has been financed by Reading Borough Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Councillor Paul Gittings, the authority's lead member for culture, said the borough was "another step closer" to preserving the ruins for "generations of people to explore and enjoy".