Urgent remedial work has started on Cockermouth Castle.

The bank below the 10th century structure was badly damaged following last December's floods.

The floods triggered a landslide which washed away much of the vegetation under the grade one listed building which overlooks the River Derwent.

A spokesman for castle owners Leconfield Estates said: "Following damage caused to the castle during Storm Desmond, engineers and designers have been working on a scheme to provide long-term stability to the castle embankment.

"The works, involving the installation of metal pins and mesh, are now progressing well and are expected to be completed by the end of the year."

Savills, working on behalf of Leconfield Estates, submitted a planning application to Allerdale Council in September. They said remedial work was vital "to maintain the structural integrity of the castle foundations". Analysis has shown "the bank to be unstable with a high probability of failure in the short term", said the application.

The castle is the northern seat of Lord and Lady Egremont, who live in Petworth, Sussex. They generally stay in the castle every two months.

Flood defence work has been taking place near the River Cocker this week. Environment Agency contractors were working on The Croft, off Croft Terrace.

A spokesman said: "We are carrying out flood resilience work, to make the walls more water resistant and also stronger.

"Once the scaffolding is in place, work begins drilling holes for fixing wire mesh which is then sprayed with concrete – a process called spraycreting. It is the same process as was used on Botcherby Bridge in Carlisle.

"Work started on the drilling last week and concrete spraying will be taking place this week. This work will make the building more resilient."