Public fenced off from Northampton's Eleanor Cross during 'essential repair work'

Conservationists examine the Eleanor Cross.
Conservationists examine the Eleanor Cross.

Northampton's historic Eleanor Cross has been fenced off ahead of restoration work to protect it through the winter.

The borough council installed fencing on Friday (November 10) before beginning work to safeguard the London Road monument from the cold.

It follows a laser scan of the monument by the Cliveden Conservation group, which Northampton Borough Council commissioned earlier this year.

In April, history groups warned the Eleanor Cross was "one cold-snap away from falling apart" in April.

Councillor Tim Hadland, cabinet member for regeneration, enterprise and planning, said: “This work is vital to ensure that the monument is offered appropriate protection over the coming months.

“Our contractor is in the process of producing a full report on the monument’s condition with an outline of potential next steps.

“We are in the process of trying to establish which organisation has responsibility for the monument’s upkeep but this is far from a simple process as a number of contradictory legal documents exist.

“In the meantime, this work needs to be undertaken and if we do subsequently confirm that the borough council has an obligation, we will need to give careful consideration to what further work is appropriate.

“We are extremely grateful to members of the public, particularly several representatives of the Northampton Battlefield Society, for raising this issue and pressing for action.”

A number of loose masonry pieces have been removed by Cliveden for "safekeeping". The group say they are analysing each piece to assess whether there is potential ton re-secure them to the structure.