Eleanor Cross papers disclosed for public consumption

Published: Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Northampton Borough Council has today published background papers regarding upcoming work on the town’s Eleanor Cross.

In October, the council confirmed that work was due to start next spring to repair and conserve the monument, following expert advice from its consultants.

Earlier in the year, Historic England confirmed it was minded to add the cross to this year’s Heritage at Risk Register, which enabled the council to make an application for grant funding.

Following confirmation that a grant would be forthcoming, a lead professional was recruited to manage the project.

Subsequent investigations identified that century-old iron cramps were causing masonry movement, one of the primary issues for the monument.

These and other details are outlined in a series of reports which the council has decided to publish.

Certain details are commercially sensitive and have been redacted, but all salient points remain regarding every stage of the process.

Cllr Tim Hadland, Cabinet member for regeneration and enterprise, said: “We know there is a great deal of interest in this project so we have decided to publish all relevant documents.

“I would urge anyone who has questions about the repair and restoration programme to take a look through these papers, which provide a wealth of specialist detail.

“The cross is around 700 years old and during the past two centuries has already been the subject of several repair and restoration projects.

“We needed to make sure any work we carried out would be in line with Historic England’s advice and would help properly preserve the cross for future generations.”

As part of the impending work, some of the iron cramps are likely to be replaced with stainless steel equivalents, which should help prevent a repeat of the problem.

The Cross, situated at the southern end of London Road close to Delapré Wood, was commissioned by Edward I between 1291 and 1294. Only three of twelve original monuments remain.

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

Visit our FOI webpage to take a look at the full papers. Repair work on the monument is expected to start in April 2019.