Head start for tortoise trio

Three stone tortoises carved into the base of an historic monument in Stanmer Park have been given new heads as restoration work gets underway.

The tortoises, which sit at the base of the stone column, lost their heads many years ago when the monument gradually fell into disrepair.

However, work is now underway to restore the monument, as part of the Stanmer Park Restoration Project, and replacing the tortoise heads in new carved Portland stone, has been given top priority.

Listed in 1954

The classical stone monument, located at the edge of the Great Wood, which is in the south of the park, was erected in 1775 in memory of MP and former Governor of the Bank of England, Frederick Frankland.

Features include rope moulding, a pattern of palm leaves, classical figures and inscriptions. The monument was listed in 1954.

Sympathetic restoration

The restoration work includes:

  • replacing the tip of the urn on top of monument 
  • new brickwork around the base 
  • sympathetic cleaning of the monument to retain its character
  • laying gravel and timber edging, around the monument 

Councillor Theresa Fowler, ward councillor and chair of the Stanmer Park Task and Finish group, said: “I’m delighted that the historic Frankland Monument has been included in the wider restoration project and getting a facelift after being neglected and hidden from view for so many years.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the restored monument, and particularly the trio of tortoises complete with their new heads, on my next visit to the park.”  

 Find out more about the Stanmer Restoration project.

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