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Not so ruinous

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Jervaulx Abbey, the twelfth-century Cistercian ruin in North Yorkshire, is not without friends at the Court of Jocelyn Stevens, chairman of English Heritage. It was bought by a private family less than 20 years ago for £5000, and has an honesty box in lieu of the more formal charging policy, interpretation centre, souvenir shop and all the other commercial paraphernalia usually associated with the projects administered by eh.I gather the abbey has benefited from little short of £500,000 in grants since, one hundred times its purchase price. If only such generosity were lavished on some of eh's own properties . . .

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