Wash and wax for King Alfred

Press Release: 03/10/2006

King Alfred

King Alfred is having a wash and wax next week (8-12 October).

The famous statute of King Alfred the Great, in the Broadway in Winchester, will undergo a thorough cleaning to remove the accumulated dirt and grime that has inevitably built up over the past decade.

Winchester City Council, owners of the statue, carry out a periodic clean-up to keep the iconic symbol of Winchester in top-notch condition.

Scaffolding will be put up around the statue and its stone plinth at the end of this week. Once the dirt and grime have been washed off, a coating of wax will be applied to give on-going protection to the bronze metal, to prevent it oxidising and turning green.

Cllr Patricia Stallard, Cabinet portfolio holder for Culture Heritage and Sport, said "King Alfred's statue has become a widely recognised symbol of Winchester. The City Council is committed to its regular maintenance and upkeep to allow King Alfred to preside over the Broadway for many years to come."

The famous statue was commissioned by the City Council, at a cost of £5000, as a fitting culmination to late 19th century commemorations of the millenary of King Alfred's death in 899. Cast according to a design by sculptor Hamo Thorneycroft, it was unveiled during a major civic celebration on Friday 20 September 1901.

Thorneycroft also presented a silver replica of the statue to Alfred Bowker, then Mayor of Winchester. This replica was donated to the City in 1996 and can be seen on display in the City Museum.