Contractor commissioned for Eleanor Cross maintenance

Published: Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Northampton Borough Council has commissioned Cliveden Conservation to carry out light maintenance and a condition survey on the town’s Eleanor Cross.

The Cross, situated at the southern end of London Road close to Delapre Wood, is one of just three surviving monuments of twelve commissioned by Edward I between 1291 and 1294.

Each monument marks one of twelve nightly resting places of his wife, Queen Eleanor of Castile’s, funeral procession between Harby, near Lincoln, to London.

Its ownership and maintenance responsibilities remain in question but the council has taken the decision to carry out emergency maintenance work and commission a full condition survey to inform any necessary future work.

Cllr Tim Hadland, the borough council’s cabinet member for regeneration, enterprise and planning, said: “We already have consent for the works from Historic England and this comes with some very stringent conditions.

“They will be joining us and Cliveden for a site visit on Thursday morning this week when we will gain some further clarity on how the work can proceed.

“It is vital that this work takes place and it absolutely must be done in the right way to ensure the best result. We know the process seems long and onerous for some, but this cannot be helped.

“Once Historic England have outlined what work is possible within the scope of the consent we’ve been granted, Cliveden will be able to schedule this into their plans.”

Initial work is expected to concentrate mainly on delivering a condition survey, though some light emergency maintenance will be allowed.

The council will then be in a position to decide on whether further maintenance work should be commissioned to ensure this important monument is preserved for future generations.

Alexandra Miller, decorative arts section manager at Cliveden Conservation, said: "We are really looking forward to working with Northampton Borough Council and Historic England on this important historic monument.

“Carrying out a condition survey is a really positive step forward in safeguarding the future preservation of the town’s Eleanor Cross.

“Not only will the condition survey highlight immediate restoration work, it will give a clear understanding of any material vulnerabilities, mechanisms of decay and the environment."