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Page last updated at 06:48 GMT, Thursday, 29 April 2010 07:48 UK
Arnos Vale cemetery worker discovers hidden angel statue

Angel statue
The angel was found beneath ivy in Arnos Vale Cemetery

A previously hidden angel statue has been discovered as Arnos Vale cemetery prepares to reopen.

Dave Napier, a member of the friends of the Bristol cemetery, discovered the statue while inspecting some of the graves.

"My main objective was actually to read the inscription so I started to carefully move the ivy away from the inscription," he said.

"Then above it I saw some lovely lilies so I thought I'll have a look at those and I exposed the lilies.

"At one point I wanted to go back around and see where the ivy tendrils were going and from the back I could see some legs.

"So I continued and it was quite clear that there was a quite impressive little statue on top."

The discovery comes as a £5m project to restore the Victorian garden cemetery to its former glory comes to an end.

The cemetery first opened in 1839
Some 300,000 people are buried there
The restoration cost £5m
The 45-acre site now features a visitor centre
The restoration was funded by Heritage Lottery Fund, English Heritage and Bristol City Council

The project has seen the 45-acre site transformed with a new visitor centre added.

Mr Napier said the angel came about through a tragic event in 1869.

"If you read the inscription it says 'Sacred to the memory of Emily Mary, the only beloved daughter of Edwin Redding and Mary Ann.'"

The inscription goes to to say the young resident of Stapleton Road died aged just 10.

Mr Napier said the angel statue was likely to have been inspired by the "terrible loss" of of their daughter.

"You've got a girl who has been transformed into a little angel - and it's not quite how angels are shown normally. It's like a child with wings."

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