Priory Park statue dated to 1776 to be restored by us

3rd December 2019

We have been commissioned to repair a much-loved statue that has been in Chichester’s Priory Park since 1873. 

Our team has removed The Druid statue from Priory Park and transported it to the Berkshire workshop. The statue, which is made from Coade stone, is now being restored by conservators by using various conservation techniques.

This is the third time the stone conservators have worked on a statue of this type. Two similar statues for the Croome Park and Erddig Hall, both National Trust, have been previously restored by Cliveden Conservation. René Rice, Plaster Section Manager is leading the project;

“We are privileged to undertake the conservation of a Coade Stone seated statue of Druidic appearance. This will include the removal of unsuitable paint coatings, removal of previously undertaken repairs and the re-fixing of the right arm of the Druid which has been broken by vandals.

Repairs will be undertaken by modelling in ‘Coade’ clay and fired before fixing in place with stainless dowels. The Druid’s staff, which has been lost, will be replaced with an oak stave. An internal stainless-steel armature will be fabricated to strengthen the repaired and re-fixed arm. When all repairs are completed the statue will be returned to Priory Park, Chichester and re-installed on the existing plinth.”

The statue’s history goes back to 1776 when it was originally placed over a water supply in South Street in 1776, it was then moved to the park in 1873 which is now owned and managed by Chichester District Council. Victoria McKay, Divisional Manager for Property and Growth at Chichester District Council, concludes;

“The statue is a key part of Priory Park in Chichester, and it is important that it is restored and repaired so that it can continue to be enjoyed for years to come. Because the statue is made of Coade stone, we have carried out extensive research to make sure that the work is carried out by specialists with experience in restoring this type of material. We look forward to welcoming the statue back to the park once the works have been completed.”