Work set to start on Delapre Abbey's expanded new car park

Delapre Abbey is set to reopen as a visitor attraction later this year, Northampton Borough Council says.
Delapre Abbey is set to reopen as a visitor attraction later this year, Northampton Borough Council says.

Contractors are set to get to work on a new car park for Northampton's Delapré Abbey next week as he restoration project comes to a close.

The latest development will see the removal of turf, then installation of the new surface, along with new lighting and CCTV coverage to ensure appropriate security.

Rachael Boyd, Delapré Abbey Preservation Trust director, said: “The works to the car park represent the last construction milestone for this phase of the redevelopment of Delapré Abbey and they’ll transform the experience of arriving at this beautiful venue for all our current and future visitors.”

From its early days as a Cluniac nunnery in the twelfth century, the building has been used for a number of reasons, from stately home to county records office.

Delapré Park is also the site of the Battle of Northampton, a key clash in the Wars of the Roses, during which Henry VI was captured by Yorkist forces.

Northamptonshire County Council has produced a written scheme of investigation and an the borough council says an archaeologist will be on-site throughout to ensure any potential spots of interest are recorded.

Once work on the new car park is finished, the existing parking area will receive some attention including resurfacing, space marking, fencing and pedestrian walkways.

On completion, expected before Christmas, there will be a total of 128 car parking spaces – an increase of 82 – along with six disabled bays and two coach spaces.

Councillor Jonathan Nunn, (Con, Nene Valley) Northampton Borough Council leader, said: “This work is vital to ensure Delapré can succeed as a venue for weddings, conferences and those interested in its heritage.

“The current parking arrangements are not ideal so we are pressing ahead with this work to ensure the Abbey has the best chance of success.

“Once fully open, it will attract visitors from far and wide with its engaging stories and fascinating architecture and décor.”