Historic statue vandalised in Chichester’s Priory Park

The coade stone statue is now missing an arm after the attack over the Easter weekend. Picture by Edward Milward-Oliver
The coade stone statue is now missing an arm after the attack over the Easter weekend. Picture by Edward Milward-Oliver
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A centuries-old coade stone statue situated in Priory Park has been vandalised yet again.

The damage is believed to have been carried out sometime on Sunday night, completely removing the right the arm of the historic statue.

It is the second time vandals have targeted the same statue - a coade stone figure of a druid which has been situated in the central Chichester park for the past 140 years.

In May last year the hand on the same hand was broken.

It led to calls for the famous figure to be moved inside the Guildhall in Priory Park to protect it.

The hand was eventually repaired but the statue remained in its place out in the open.

The latest act of vandalism had left the Friends of Priory Park deeply frustrated.

Chairman Richard Plowman said: “This is a great shame, it’s mindless vandalism, there’s no other words for it.

“This is the second time the same statue has been damaged in a fairly short space of time and it’s a very important statue of coade stone, which are becoming increasingly rare.

“We are very disappointed and we will be talking to the district council about finding a safer place for it.”

Mr Plowman said the coade stone arm had been recovered and would be repaired.

He said damage had also been done to a flint wall and police had been informed.

He added: “It’s a great shame because Priory Park is loved by everyone and as we head to Priory Park 100 in 2018 (the centenary year) we want the park looking its best.”

The statue was brought over to Chichester in the 1770s, and after being moved around the city it finally found its home in the park in 1870.

Last week new metal railings were approved for the entire boundary of Priory Park by city councillors which Mr Plowman said should help secure it at night.

To read about the damage caused to the same statue last year click here

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