Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Northampton's Eleanor Cross is in danger

Back in 2012 I blogged about the Eleanor Cross at Hardingstone just outside Northampton.

Now there is worrying news about its state of repair.

From The Pipeline:
With Northampton Borough Council still refusing to acknowledge that it owns the nationally important Eleanor Cross on London Road Northampton, expert stone mason Bryn Garrett has warned that the nationally important scheduled monument shows clear signs of neglect and plant damage which needs to be stopped urgently, or the cross could suffer further serious deterioration. 
Based on an examination of the detailed photographs of the monument taken in the last few days, Mr Garrett told Northampton campaigners who are attempting to get the Borough Council to address the issue, 
"The majority of the damage appears to be caused by the lack of maintenance the stonework has received, one of the most common causes of damage with this type of stone is caused by frost. When the pointing is left to deteriorate water is then allowed to get in the joints and core of the structure and saturate the stones, when followed by a heavy frost the stone crumbles and laminates. The job of maintaining the pointing is a relatively simple task and will prevent much bigger problems occurring in the near future."
And a Northampton Chronicle & Echo report quotes Dr Marie Dickie OBE, chair of the Friends of Northampton Castle:
"The cross is a crucial piece of Northampton's heritage and it has been left to fall into disrepair. 
"The grass is unkempt, the area is untidy and weeds and ivy are growing into the cracks in the stone. This can cause severe damage over time. 
"It has reached a crisis point. The monument is just outside Delapre Abbey. If the borough council is going to spend so much time and money renovating the abbey, why can't they also look after the cross? 
"They should both act responsibly."
As I wrote when I visited another surviving Eleanor Cross at Geddington in Northamptonshire:
Eleanor of Castile was the wife of King Edward I of England. She died at Harby in Nottinghamshire in 1290. Edward followed her body to its burial in Westminster Abbey, and erected memorial crosses at the site of each overnight stop. 
Originally there were 12 Eleanor crosses. They were at Lincoln, Grantham, Stamford, Geddington, Northampton, Stony Stratford, Woburn, Dunstable, St Albans, Waltham, Westcheap, and Charing. Today only three - Northampton, Waltham and Geddington - surivive in any significant form.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This should be a priority, no other country in Europe would let its heritage get into this state of disrepair.