The grave of Florence Nightingale has been repaired by in time for this year’s Nurses’ Day after being seriously damaged earlier this year.
The memorial to the founder of modern nursing is located in the churchyard of St Margaret’s Church in East Wellow, Hampshire.
The 3m-high marble memorial was badly damaged by a falling tree in a storm on 14 February – St Valentine’s Day.
A tree uprooted by strong wind smashed the top metre of the memorial and broke a cross, dislodging the body of the memorial from its plinth.
It has been completely repaired and restored by specialist insurance company Ecclesiastical.
Stonemasons were able to locate all the fragments and painstakingly piece them back together, restoring the monument to its original state.
Clare Pardy, fine art and heritage development director at Ecclesiastical, said: “While seeing the damage done to Florence Nightingale’s tomb was truly heart-breaking, it was a real privilege for our team to be able to rebuild the memorial.”
Hundreds of visitors come to see the grave each year, including school trips and other organised groups, said representatives from the church, which also features an exhibition dedicated to Ms Nightingale.
They said they were “very pleased” that the memorial had been restored in time for their annual Florence Nightingale service and lunch.
Peter Carter, chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, added: “It is wonderful news that Florence Nightingale’s grave has been restored.”