Oakenshaw Cross to be repaired by specialist contractors

We’re considering options for the repair of Oakenshaw Cross with specialist conservation structural engineers, Blackett-Ord.

What is Oakenshaw cross?

Oakenshaw Cross was built in 1702 by a local landowner in memory of his deceased wife and son. Over the centuries, the physical surroundings for the grade-II listed structure have substantially changed.

The monument now acts as a small traffic island leaving it vulnerable to vehicle strikes. Road resurfacing in recent years has seen part of the outer stone plinth settle into the road surface, resulting in the bottom step no longer presenting a kerb edge.

This has enabled vehicles to drive over the base, coming into much closer contact with the monument and in some cases striking it.

Will the work take place on site?

No. The monument will require dismantling and transporting to a council depot. Where it will be repaired by a specialist stonemason before it’s put back to its original place.

The work will take place at the end of March. In the interim, our Highways Team have introduced concrete blocks around the monument to protect it and allow the road to reopen.

As repairs take a place we will decide whether it will return to its existing location, or be moved to a site where the monument wouldn’t be exposed to passing vehicles.

Both options require detailed designs and specifications to enable consultation with residents and statutory heritage bodies. The proposed alternative site would be adjacent to the cross’s current location.

If the monument does stay in its current location, then additional levels of protection will be required. It will need a reconstructed, raised base and new road signage to alert drivers.

Councillor Naheed Mather, Cabinet Member for Environment, says:

“The council understands the significance of the cross to residents and its importance in local history.

I want to reassure locals that any repairs will be carried out and be done with great care by the appointed specialists.

“The location of the cross will be consulted on with all interested parties to ensure the monument is protected, now and for future generations.

“I’d like to thank the community for their patience and understanding whilst we determine the best way forward to repair and preserve the cross.”

Oakenshaw Cross, surrounded by traffic cones and barriers
Oakenshaw Cross, surrounded by traffic cones and barriers