Skip to content

Durham Road war memorial to get a facelift

Memorial on Durham Road

A war memorial to Gateshead soldiers who fell during the South African War is soon to get a much-needed facelift.

Gateshead Council has granted listed building consent for the restoration of the South African War Memorial on Durham Road in Low Fell.

The monument, which stands at the side of Durham Road, features a white marble statue of a uniformed trooper of an Imperial Yeomanry.

South African War Memorial_02
Above: years the statue has become heavily stained by dirt, tree sap and pollution
However, after standing at the side of a busy road for 116 years the marble statue has become heavily stained by dirt, tree sap and pollution and is now a dark grey colour. In addition, the soldier and the sandstone block on which he stands are also covered in lichen and other biological growth.

The memorial was erected in 1903 to commemorate the loss of five soldiers - one sergeant and four troopers - who died during the 1899-1902 campaign. One of the five is also commemorated in a dedicated stained glass window in nearby St Helen's Church.

Restoration work will begin with the erection of a temporary scaffold around the statue to allow the stonework to be thoroughly inspected and cleaned.

Lichen and other biological growth will be removed using a special biocidal green growth remover which will be applied to the whole monument.  The statue and plinth will then receive a thorough hand cleaning and a steam wash.

All of the works will be undertaken by a competent and experienced heritage contractor.

Mortar repairs will also be undertaken to the horizontal joints around the plinth and the inscriptions will be re-enamelled as some of them have deteriorated and are difficult to read.

Its hoped that work can begin on the restoration later this year.

Memorial on Durham Road
13 August 2019

A war memorial to Gateshead soldiers who fell during the South African War is soon to get a much-needed facelift.

Gateshead Council has granted listed building consent for the restoration of the South African War Memorial on Durham Road in Low Fell.

The monument, which stands at the side of Durham Road, features a white marble statue of a uniformed trooper of an Imperial Yeomanry.

South African War Memorial_02
Above: years the statue has become heavily stained by dirt, tree sap and pollution
However, after standing at the side of a busy road for 116 years the marble statue has become heavily stained by dirt, tree sap and pollution and is now a dark grey colour. In addition, the soldier and the sandstone block on which he stands are also covered in lichen and other biological growth.

The memorial was erected in 1903 to commemorate the loss of five soldiers - one sergeant and four troopers - who died during the 1899-1902 campaign. One of the five is also commemorated in a dedicated stained glass window in nearby St Helen's Church.

Restoration work will begin with the erection of a temporary scaffold around the statue to allow the stonework to be thoroughly inspected and cleaned.

Lichen and other biological growth will be removed using a special biocidal green growth remover which will be applied to the whole monument.  The statue and plinth will then receive a thorough hand cleaning and a steam wash.

All of the works will be undertaken by a competent and experienced heritage contractor.

Mortar repairs will also be undertaken to the horizontal joints around the plinth and the inscriptions will be re-enamelled as some of them have deteriorated and are difficult to read.

Its hoped that work can begin on the restoration later this year.

More Gateshead news

Share this page