BREAKING NEWS: Grant secured to repair Northampton's crumbling Eleanor Cross
Historic England has pledged to help fund urgent repair work to Northampton's "crumbling" Eleanor Cross.
Northampton Borough Council has announced today (May 16) it has secured a grant to cover half the costs of restoring the 13th-century monument in London Road.
It comes after history groups pleaded with the council last week to "save" the Cross after pictures were shared on Twitter of fresh cracks and fallen chips of stone at the base of the 700-year-old pillar.
It will also be added to Historic England's Heritage at Risk register.
Councillor Tim Hadland, borough council cabinet member for regeneration, said: “This is excellent news. Our aspiration is to get this work underway as soon as feasibly possible.
“Whatever we do has to be appropriate for the monument in the long term. I can sympathize with those who feel we are not moving quickly enough on this, all I can do is reassure them that we know how critical it is that we get this right.”
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 12 original monuments remain.
Historians fear that the Cross cannot survive another winter without immediate repairs and
Northampton North MP Michael Ellis, who is also the minister for heritage, supported the borough council in its application to Heritage England. He said: "This is very good news.
"The Eleanor Cross is an ancient monument of huge importance and I am very pleased that the borough and Historic England will be working together to conserve it for the future."
It is not known how much the conservation work on the Cross will cost.