Northampton Battlefields Society receives new international award

NBS has received an international award. The silver plated figurine of Nathaniel Wade was given to NBS at the International Guild of Battlefield Guides annual dinner on Saturday 14 January 2017 and collected by Vice-Chair Phil Steele and committee member Graham Evans.
The GBG Nathaniel Wade Award is named after one of the first Battlefield Guides. Wade was a Bristol lawyer and the hardworking creator of the rebel army during the Monmouth Rebellion in 1685.

 

The award publicly recognises the contribution of an individual, group or organisation associated with the GBG, who through their efforts has made a significant contribution to the craft of battlefield guiding and the wider Military History community. Last year it was awarded to the Belgian Tourist Office so we are in good company.

In July 2016, Chair Mike Ingram and the society received the Presidents Award from the Battlefields Trust for outstanding contribution to battlefield preservation and interpretation which was presented by Sir Robert Worcester. Previous to that, in 2015 it received an award from the NN4eight local community group for its work on battlefield preservation.

Chair Mike Ingram said afterwards “We are proud and pleased to receive the award and thank the GBG for considering us. It reflects the commitment and the hard work of our committee and members to preserving nationally important battles such as Northampton.”

 

award

The award came the day after NBS gave a display and talk about their work to the GBG at Delapre Golf Club.

 

 

Advertisements

1460 Northampton battlefield update

Last year we asked all of you to object to a planning application from the local Golf Club to build a car park on the site of the battlefield.

Many of you did and in the end there were 217 objections. Thanks very much to all of you who took the time to write.

Since then things have moved on. The application was scheduled to be dealt with by the local planning committee last week. If you objected you should have had a letter offering you the opportunity to attend.

However the Golf Club withdrew the application at the last minute. This might sound like good news but for those of you who don’t understand the labyrinthine ways of the English planning process it actually isn’t.

You see the Club were going to lose. The application was inappropriate and the “Heritage Assessment” they paid for was a joke. Local press was opposed and then there was also all those objections. If they’d lost then that was it, pretty much.

What the Golf Club have decided to do is withdraw the application and resubmit a completely new one. This will mean that all the objections and work opposed to the old application won’t count any more. They now know all the reasons for objecting to the application, so they may well be able to deal with them in the new application which they will probably introduce on a shorter time frame.

What this means is that some time over the next few months I’ll probably be asking you all to object again and we will be hoping that you won’t be bothered because you did it last time. If the objections drop then the Golf Club will be able to argue that they have addressed the concerns of the community and interested parties.

In the interim what can you do? If you aren’t already a member of the Northampton Battlefields Society you could join (find us on Facebook). Membership fees go towards the costs of running the Society and organising opposition to damage to the local battlefields.

Or, if you haven’t bought a copy already, buy Mike Ingram’s book about the battle, available through Amazon: link

Profits from the book go into the Society’s fighting fund.

Thanks everyone for you support so far,

Graham Evans NBS committee member and editor of the NBS newsletter ‘The Wild Rat’

New threat to 1460 battlefield

The 1460 battlefield is under threat again. We will of course be objecting as there has already been enough development of this wonderful green space of national historic importance. Now is the time to say enough is enough.We need to show anybody else that might be thinking of developing any other part of the battlefield that its not wanted. If you agree please object as detailed at the bottom of this post. Please share with your friends, colleagues and other pages and impress the importance and it should not be left for others.

The two press reports both of which, as the application states, say there was nothing of archaeological importance found. The actual report of the finds is ‘hidden’, deliberately, accidentally or otherwise within the photograph section of the application documents. And as you will see below, are actually of great significance.

http://www.northamptonchron.co.uk/news/local/golf-club-ordered-to-stop-work-on-car-park-eight-months-ago-puts-in-new-bid-for-part-of-northampton-battlefield-site-1-6886142

http://m.northampton-news-hp.co.uk/8203-Northampton-golf-club-submits-controversial/story-27539543-detail/story.html#ixzz3ho1667WA

The application says that responses are required by 28 August, so an early response is essential.

The reasons we are objecting are as follows:-

The area concerned is green space and parkland, there for enjoyment and use of the community. This development would considerably erode that sense of open space, and once gone, will never return. Whilst the application makes provision for the protection of any further archaeology below ground, it does not consider the environment that will be destroyed in its creation.

This is a registered battlefield protected by the National Planning Framework which says that any development on the site should be wholly exceptional. The application does not say how this car park etc. is exceptional. This application does not give figures or demonstrate the need for additional parking, and there is no analysis of car park use. It is not for the benefit of the golfers themselves but a separate commercial enterprise to ‘sell’ parking spaces to workers on Brackmills Industrial Estate, as an early morning visit and comparison between the number of cars and number of golfers clearly demonstrates.

By allowing this application it will be condoning the golf clubs earlier action of illegally carrying out the work without prior planning permission, and against the CMP.

The councils own Conservation Management Plan for the battlefield was adopted as part of its planning decision framework and the CMP says it should resist further development within the Registered Battlefield. The application fails to address how it complies with this section of the CMP and therefore should be rejected.

The CMP effectively acts as a local designation of the heritage asset and implies that substantial impact on the battlefield occurs with any further development on the registered battlefield and the Council needs to take this into consideration when reaching its decision.

The application claims that there no finds of archaeological importance, and this has been reported in the local press. This is contrary to the archaeological report, the key part of which has been strangely tucked away at the back of the photographs section of the documents. The broach is potentially of national significance as it is of high status with a French inscription and as the report admits, may be from the 1460 battle. See also https://finds.org.uk/database/artefacts/record/id/730007

Crucially, the report clearly states there has been insufficient evidence found to date that can categorically discount the round shot from being from the 1460 battle. There has also been numerous finds of round shot of these sizes found elsewhere in England and dated to the medieval period (see Portable Antiquities Scheme database). The only way to determine the date of the shot is ‘uranium thorium lead isotopic analysis’ and this has not been carried out. If, the shot is proved to be from 1460, then this could not only be a crucial part of the battlefield but also of national significance in that it is the earliest known use of hand-gunnes in England, and be the oldest surviving small round shot in England too.

Until the whole registered battlefield has been archaeologically investigated and understood, the true significance of this area cannot be known. In the long term, this area might prove to be a part where a future battlefield trail etc. could be sited. It is therefore extremely short-sighted to allow any development of this sensitive area at this time.

The ball pit and trench is an addition to the original application and should not be included in this one. Furthermore, there is no evidence to suggest that the site of the trench is made up ground and given the significance and sensitivity of site, it needs a full archaeological survey before any planning permission can be considered.

You may of course have other reasons why this application should be rejected, please add these too.

The application says that NBC will respond before 23/09/2015 but does not give a date when it will go before planning, so an early response is essential.
We would urge all of you to write to NBC planning to object to this application using the reference N/2015/0785 addressed to The Planning Department, The Guildhall, St Giles Square, Northampton. NN1 1DE
or
go to the on-line Planning Portal http://www.northampton.gov.uk/…/…/view_planning_applications click the search for a planning application button, on the new screen, enter the reference number N/2015/0785, click search. When details of the application appear, click the red comment button and you will be able to register your objection.