Thursday, May 09, 2013

A new Eleanor Cross at Stamford

I have been to Geddington and Hardingstone in Northamptonshire to see two of the three surviving Eleanor Crosses - the third is at Waltham Cross in Hertfordshire.

Stamford is the site of one of the vanished crosses and a fragment of its cross used to be on show in the town museum. Now the museum has closed, the best place to try is the library.

But when I was in Stamford on Monday I found that it has a new Eleanor cross. The website Stonebtb explains:
It hasn't been the easiest of transitions from commission to construction but Wolfgang Buttress' Ketton limestone and bronze reinterpretation of the Eleanor Cross that once stood in Stamford has finally been unveiled as the centrepiece of the town's £1.3million Gateway project. 
The scheme has pedestrianised Red Lion Square and the Sheep Market parts of the East Midlands town. The areas were previously used for car parking. The narrow streets and lanes between the historic stone buildings of the town are one of its attractions, but they don't leave a lot of room for car parking, so losing some of the space that existed for it was not universally popular. 
However, those who wanted to see an Eleanor Cross return to a public area of the town have won the day and on a Saturday in May Wolfgang Buttress, who designed the cross and its associated Clipsham benches and milestone, the masons who produced them (Pierre Bidaud, Ana Ruiz Agüi and Regis Chaperon) and their guests celebrated with Champagne the fact that the cross was finally in place.
The site of the original Eleanor Cross at Stamford has been the subject of much debate, but the best theory seems to be that it stood on a hill by the Great North Road to the south of the town - much as the cross at Hardingstone stands in relation to Northampton.

1 comment:

Well-behaved Orphan said...

This derided bit of "street art" has no relation to an Eleanor Cross; it is a paradox - a pointless spike.