Page last updated at 13:05 GMT, Thursday, 2 April 2009 14:05 UK

Repairs needed on stone pineapple

The stone pineapple
The pineapple is believed to be a symbol of abundance

Work has begun to repair damage to a carved stone pineapple at Hidcote Manor Gardens in Gloucestershire.

The ornately carved piece was found lying on the ground at the end of the Long Walk after heavy snows in February caused a tree branch to fall on it.

The 2ft tall pineapple has crevices carved into it to encourage rainwater to drain off when upright.

Stone masons have been brought it to repair it as the piece is in danger of splitting in the event of a frost.

"It's too heavy for us to lift by hand, and bringing in machinery could damage the garden," said Lisa Edinborough, of the National Trust.

"It was erected while that area of the garden was still being created so lifting equipment was able to be used without damaging the plot, which was then established around it," she added.

The pineapple, dating from the late 1920s or early 1930s, is believed to by a symbol of hospitality and abundance.

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