THE historic coat of arms on what was once one of the most important buildings in the country has been restored to its former grandeur.

The King’s Manor in the centre of York is now part of the city’s university but was originally the Abbot's House of St Mary's Abbey, and served the Tudors and Stuarts as a seat of government.

As the headquarters of the Council of the North, it was the official residence of the President of the Council and played host to visiting royalty.

Henry VIII, Charles I and James I all stayed there.

The restored coat of arms is that of Charles I who stayed at the King’s Manor in 1633 and 1639. Heraldically, it is described as quarterly and depicts the emblems of France, England, Scotland and Ireland.

Helen Stephenson managed the project for the university and said: “The process began with a detailed condition survey and architectural paint research in November 2011, which led to some quite significant stonework repairs and the repainting of the coat of arms.”

The project was the idea of former vice-chancellor Professor Sir Ron Cooke who said: "The restoration of the unique Charles I coat of arms is a remarkable and successful achievement.

“It will add to the pleasures of our townscape for decades to come, and is a real credit to the university's commitment to both the city centre and to the exceptionally fine buildings of the King’s Manor."

The work was carried out by Hirst Conservation on behalf of the University of York and builds on earlier restoration work by the York Civic Trust in 1972.