THE crumbling walls and dangerous overhangs at Reading's historic Abbey have forced parts of it to be shut off from the public.

A full survey on the state of the ruins has the borough council worried, and after closing the Chapter House in April, there will now be no entry to the area from the Forbury Gardens or the Cloister Walk from Chestnut Walk.

The grassed Dormitory area will stay open as usual, and temporary signs will show alternative paths.

Upcoming events at the Abbey, including the Mikron Theatre Company, the Water Fest and Shakespeare in the Ruins, are all happening in the Dormitory and so unaffected.

Borough culture leader, Graeme Hoskin, said: "Following on from the earlier inspection we have further information which has led us to decide to close these access routes as any risk, however small, to the public's safety is important.

"Our priority now is to identify what works are required in order to preserve the ruins for future generations. This is likely to be a lengthy process as this is clearly a very specialist and complex field of work."