The restoration of a Grade II-listed statue of Queen Victoria has been completed.

The 11-foot ‘Peace’ statue, which stands on top of mound of 200 tonnes of Devon granite, was first installed in Friary Park in 1911.

It had been donated by wealthy benefactor Sydney Simmons, who paid for the purchase of the Friary Estate on the condition that it forever remain a public park.

The bronze statue stood in the park for more than a century without anyone realising it was of the 42-year-old Queen Victoria until Nick McKie from Friern Barnet & District Local History Society discovered its true origins three years ago.

Over the years, a spear – which had replaced a rod – had broken over time, while a sculpture of a dove had gone missing.

Barnet Council pledged to restore the statue to its former glory and this was completed in September.

The statue dates back to 1861 and was found to be made as a memorial to the Great Exhibition by sculptor Joseph Durham. The Peace statue then stood at the Royal Horticultural Society Gardens until 1881.

It remains a mystery what happened to the statue between 1881 and 1911, and how it ended up in the hands of Mr Simmons.