Conserving War Memorials Case Study: The Surface Treatment of Bronze Statuary

First and Second World Wars Memorial, Bootle, Merseyside

This document describes the treatment undertaken to the surfaces of the bronze statues and plaques on the Grade-II listed Bootle War Memorial. Over time, the bronze surfaces had developed a green patina due to the failure of the original protective wax coatings, an issue that is fairly common on outdoor bronzes. A specification was made for treatment that was both ethical and achievable, and which respected the object’s history whilst ensuring the that the bronze elements were placed into an excellent structural and visual condition, which could thereafter be regularly and economically maintained.

This guidance is intended for those designing, specifying and undertaking conservation and repair work to free standing war memorials, such as architects, building surveyors, structural engineers, project managers, contractors, craftspeople, and conservators. It will also be of interest to those responsible for making decisions, such as local authority conservation officers, custodians or volunteer groups. It also indicates where to get further help and advice.

This guidance forms part of a series of resources produced by Historic England, to coincide with the centenary of the First World War. This series covers the overall approach to caring for these memorials, as well as some of the more poorly understood technical aspects. It includes:


  • Description and condition
  • Remedial options
  • Solution
  • Lessons learnt
  • Acknowledgements

Additional Information

  • Series: Guidance
  • Publication Status: Completed
  • Pages: 11
  • Product Code: HEAG166


If you require an alternative, accessible version of this document (for instance in audio, Braille or large print) please contact us:

Customer Service Department

Telephone: 0370 333 0607
Email: [email protected]