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First orders as EH becomes publican

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English Heritage is moving into the licensed industry after buying its first ever pub, the Abbey Inn in North Yorkshire.

The Grade II-listed Abbey Inn in Byland has been purchased to preserve the fabric of Byland Abbey, in whose grounds it sits.

English Heritage plans to reinvest the profits made at the pub back into the abbey, to help finance what it claims is much-needed conservation work for one of 'the largest and most important Cistercian monasteries in England'.

The money will also be used to preserve the character of other buildings in English Heritage's care, which include Helmsley Castle in North Yorkshire, Belsay Hall in Northumberland and Osborne House on the Isle of Wight.

Gordon Seabright, English Heritage's commercial director, launched his quest to find a manager for the business earlier this week.

'We are looking for someone who has a really strong track record in running a successful pub or restaurant and who is passionate about good food, quality and excellent customer service,' he said.

by Rob Sharp

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