Historic statue at Chichester park to be removed for repairs

Coade stone statue in Priory Park, Chichester
Coade stone statue in Priory Park, Chichester

A historic statue in Chichester is set to be removed so it can be repaired and restored.

The Coade stone figure of a druid, which has been in Priory Park since 1873, has recently suffered from weathering and vandalism.

Chichester District Council agreed a budget for its restoration back in June 2018, but earlier this year the Friends of Priory Park expressed frustration at the pace of the project.

However this week the council announced that specialists, who have already restored two identical statues for the National Trust, have been appointed to carry out the repairs.

Cliveden Conservation in Berkshire, one of the country’s leading experts for the conservation of stone, will be removing the statue during August.

Tony Dignum, cabinet member for finance, growth, place, and regeneration, said: “The statue is an important part of Priory Park and so it is important that this is restored and repaired so that it can continue to be enjoyed for years to come.

“The statue is made of Coade stone and so we have carried out extensive research to make sure that this work is carried out by specialists who are experienced in restoring this type of stone.

“This is one of many improvements planned for our Priory Park in Chichester. We look forward to welcoming the statue back to Priory Park once the works have been completed.”

The statue was originally placed above a water supply in South Street in 1776 and has had a number of different homes across the city.

It has resided in Priory Park, which is owned and managed by the council, since 1873.