Northampton

Eleanor Cross: Conservation of Northampton monument complete

The Eleanor Cross Image copyright Northampton Borough Council/BBC
Image caption The Eleanor Cross had been restoration (left) has been completed after the work started earlier this year (right)

Conservation work has been completed on a 13th Century monument to a medieval queen that was "falling apart".

The Eleanor Cross on London Road, Northampton, was built in 1291 for Queen Eleanor, the wife of Edward I, but needed urgent masonry repairs.

It has now been removed from Historic England's Heritage At Risk Register.

"This does show the town is important historically," said Mike Ingram, a historian who has been campaigning to save the cross.

"These things should be preserved to remind people of what went on in the past."

Image copyright Geograph/David Dixon
Image caption The monument marks one of 12 places Queen Eleanor's funeral cortege stopped on its way from Lincolnshire to London in 1290

In January, a Northampton Borough Council meeting heard Queen Eleanor would be "turning in her tomb" because her monument had been rotting.

More than 1,600 people signed a petition calling for netting to protect the monument during the winter months.

The repairs, begun in April, were due to start a year ago, but were initially delayed.

Image caption More than 1,600 people signed a petition calling for netting to protect the monument

Work has included mortar repairs, repointing, addition of stainless steel pins to provide extra support, fitting new stone, and shelter coating.

Historic England covered half of the £95,000 cost and were consulted throughout the process, with the rest paid for by Northampton Borough Council.

Twelve crosses were built by King Edward to mark the stopping places of the funeral cortege of his wife Queen Eleanor, following her death near Lincoln in 1290.

Only three of 12 original monuments remain.

Northampton Borough Council said a regular maintenance programme has been scheduled.

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