An appeal has been made for old coloured photos and information about the Eleanor Cross Memorial in Sledmere before work to restore and renovate the historic monument takes place next year.
The Eleanor Cross was erected in 1896-98 as a village cross at the request of Sir Tatton Sykes and was designed by architect Temple Moore.
It was built as a replica of the Hardingstone Eleanor Cross, which dates from 1291.
The Hardingstone cross in Northamptonshire is an original Eleanor Cross, one of many that were erected to mark the stopping places of the body of Eleanor of Castile, wife of King Edward I, when on her journey to her final resting place.
Sir Mark Sykes, the eldest son of Sir Tatton Sykes, converted the Sledmere cross in 1919 to become a lasting memorial to the men of the 5th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment, and others from the local area, who died in the Great War.
The conversion saw the addition of a series of brass portraits in commemoration to those friends of Sir Mark who fell during the Great War and also include one of Sir Mark himself in crusader armour. Sir Mark died in 1919 after contracting the Spanish Flu.
The Eleanor Cross was designated a Grade II listed building in September 1966 and was upgraded to Grade I in March 2016.
Now, ahead of the centenary of the conversion of the cross to a war memorial in 2019, Sledmere & Croome Parish Council have commissioned architect Peter Pace to undertake repair and conservation work of the monument.
Working closely with the War Memorial Trust, which will fund up to 75 per cent of the cost of the renovation, Historic England and Hirst Conservation, the Parish Council would like to see the cross restored to its former glory. Due to the listed status of the cross, the restoration work must be in keeping with the original.
Parish clerk Lord Swinton said: “It is a unique monument and very important to the people of Sledmere and also of significance to the many people who visit it every year.
“It will look absolutely fabulous when it is fully restored and now the Parish Council is appealing for anyone with any old coloured photographs of the monument, which show the original colours, to ensure we can restore the cross to its original status.”
If anyone has any old coloured photographs or old illustrations of the Eleanor Cross in Sledmere,please email firstname.lastname@example.org