HOUSING workers are travelling back in time to give a 900-year-old priory a facelift - in just two weeks.

Plasters, plumbers, painters, joiners and electricians are bringing Runcorn’s medieval monastery, Norton Priory, up to date.

Claire McDade, the priory’s director, said:”It’s amazing. Every day, something new and exciting is happening.

“All these skilled craftsmen are doing jobs we simply couldn’t afford.

“This is ‘Changing Rooms’ on a massive scale. Their generosity is wonderful.”

Halton Housing Trust’s team is refurbishing the main gallery, repairing lighting and heating, improving plumbing and refurbishing toilets.

All 250 of the trust’s staff have also volunteered to give up a day to paint the toilets, cafe and education room.

They will renovate paths, cut down rhododendrons and shrubs and tidy up the 40 acres of ground.

Nick Atkin, trust chief executive, said: “The refurbishment programme is another example of our commitment to the neighbourhoods in which we work and the local facilities that are available there.”

Norton Priory is considered the most important monastic remains in Cheshire and is a scheduled ancient monument and Grade 1 listed building.

It comprises the remains of an abbey, from the 12th to 16th centuries, plus an 18th century house.

The museum was built in the 1980s to house objects dug up during a major archeological excavation in the 1970s and 80s.

The largest mosaic floor ever found in Britain, dating from 1300, was uncovered.

Established by Augustinian monks in 1115, the priory moved to Norton in 1134 and became an abbey in 1391.