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  1. Aerial View
  2. |
  3. Naming Controversy
  4. |
  5. Diana Restoration
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  7. Diana on the Move
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  9. Restoration Photo-reports
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Chair’s Welcome

I am delighted as Chair of the Friends to welcome you to our website. Bushy Park and Home Park are two wonderful large green oases in the south west corner of London. Feeling wild, they are natural places with ancient histories, fascinating heritage and superb wildlife. Both are Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) containing rare species. These are places to be enjoyed and conserved. Which is why the Friends exist, campaigning, supporting and protecting the parks, and enhancing visitors’ enjoyment with information, advice and guidance.

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July 2009 (2)

By Pieter Morpurgo

The day of Diana’s first move for almost 300 years arrived. There are teams from the workshop on site where she will be restored, the stone masons and the project team are all present for this important day. The eight lower statues have all been labelled to ensure they go back in their correct places.

Base plate from marble

Diana starting to rise
The first job is to place harnesses around Diana and carefully protect her with blankets and support her before undoing the four bolts which hold her in place. They can’t be removed by turning so they have to be cut off. In fact it is discovered that that they are just plugs of molten lead into which metal spikes had been hammered. This had probably caused the marble base on which she stands to split. So she has only been held in place by three spikes – and gravity. One very unnerving fact emerged. The spikes were only about five or six inches long.

Crown and date

Diana on hoist
When the time came to lift her clear of the base, the base came up with her, and Diana swung round to face east instead of south for the first time in her life. The top stone was only stuck onto the lower stone. Nothing else was securing the statue, and she had survived up there through several hurricanes, the last of which blew down several hundred trees in the park, but Diana stayed put.

Diana descending

Safely on the ground
Once the marble base had been removed from the bronze, Diana could be weighed. The estimate of about 1200 kilos was a little exaggerated; she actually weighs 924 kilos, so well within the limits of the scaffolding and lifting gear. On the stone underneath is carved a crown with the date AR 1712 hidden from view for almost 300 years.

Nearly down and on the lorry
Inch by inch Diana was pulled along the scaffolding ready to be lowered to the ground. It took some ten minutes to lower her from the top to the bottom. Every inch was closely watched. It wasn’t long before she was on the ground and being wheeled along the walkway to the waiting lorry. The whole process has taken the best part of four hours. But the crew didn’t stop there. There were eight other statues to load onto the lorry before being taken to the Brixton workshop for restoration.

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With more members our voice is stronger when we campaign to protect the Parks, and with more subscription income we can do more to provide information and education about the Parks, their wildlife and their history.

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Walks & Talks

Forthcoming event

Latest report

On Saturday 8 June 2019 from 11am to 3pm members of the Friends of Bushy and Home Parks will be at the SHAEF memorial (near SHAEF Gate) and at Teddington Gate to help you envisage the scene 75 years ago when General Dwight D Eisenhower and his staff in Bushy Park were planning the campaign to liberate occupied Europe.

Full report...

Visitor Centre

The Visitor Centre next to the Pheasantry café is where our volunteers help visitors find out more about the parks and where visitors can purchase souvenirs of your visit to support our work.

Click this panel to visit our Visitor Centre section and also to find out how you can get involved as a volunteer.