Commitments to building a national War of the Roses centre at Delapré Abbey have been given by all four parties on Northampton Borough Council.
Monday night’s full council meeting saw a volley of insults traded across the chamber floor, after the ruling Conservative group tabled a number of what opposition members termed ‘self-congratulatory’ motions looking back at tory’s time in office.
But unanimous agreement was given to Liberal Democrats motion which asked the council to ‘reaffirm it’s commitment’ to develop a centre for the War of the Roses at Delapré Abbey.
The grounds of Delapré Abbey played host to the Battle of Northampton in July 1460, a key battle in the War of the Roses.
The rebel Yorkists faced the King’s Lancastrians and the fighting - which some scholars believe left 7,000 dead - spread as far as the river near the modern day Britannia pub and Eagle Drive.
The motion at Monday night’s meeting was promoted by the discovery of the world’s oldest cannonball on the Delapré battlefield site last month.
Councillor Brendan Glynane (Lib Dem, Delapré) said: “Over the last few years, we have really seen people all over the country take an increased interest in the War of the Roses, and during the same period we have seen a lot of information come to light about the important role Northampton, and particularly Delapré, played.
“With the recent discovery on the battlefield site of what might be the country’s oldest lead shot, and with threats to the battlefield site still looming from developers, now is really the time to bring Northampton’s important history to the fore, and start celebrating it like we should.”
Councillor Glynane said a national centre would increase tourism, bring and would “rebuild Northampton’s national reputation for heritage, so badly damaged by the sale of museum pieces under this administration.”
A spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats groups said the motion could mark a ‘turning point’ for heritage in Northampton and for exploration of the battlefield site.
Last year Northampton Borough Council held a consultation on the future of the battlefield in early in 2014 and received 500 responses.
a report released by the authority last year states that funding options for a battlefield visitor centre would need to be investigated, including bidding for external funding, re-prioritising the capital programme, using reserves and borrowing.