Marvellous news for the start of 2022, the plans to locate a permanent statue commemorating the work of Mary Anning and her contribution to the Earth sciences have been approved by Dorset Council. The idea to erect a permanent memorial to the most famous former resident of Lyme Regis had been proposed in the past, but it was young, fossil fan Evie Swire and her mum who kick-started the project once more in 2018 with the launch of their charity Mary Anning Rocks.
Plans have been approved to erect a life-size bronze sculpture of Mary Anning. The memorial, designed by Denise Dutton, is likely to be unveiled in the late spring of 2022 and it will, in a small way, help to redress the great imbalance between statues of men and women in the UK. Approximately eighty-five percent of all the statues erected in Great Britain acknowledge the achievements of men. It is therefore fitting that a memorial to Mary Anning should be put on permanent display close to where she made some of her most important scientific discoveries.
Mary Anning Rocks
The charity, which team members at Everything Dinosaur have supported, has raised over £100,000 and plans are well advanced to place a statue of Mary Anning overlooking the beach to the east of the town of Lyme Regis. The charity wants to acknowledge and remember Mary Anning and her contribution to the nascent science of palaeontology. The statue will commemorate Mary and her dog Tray, which accompanied her on her fossil hunts. Unfortunately, the dog was killed in a landslide. The statue which will be within sight of Black Ven and Golden Cap will also provide a reminder to visitors of the dangers of straying too close to the cliffs as well as providing tourists with a focal point for remembrance and respect.
Unveiled in May 2022
A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:
“This is fantastic news! We congratulate all those involved in helping to create this memorial to Mary Anning. The bronze, life-size statue will make a fitting tribute to one of the most influential figures in the early years of the science of palaeontology and perhaps help to inspire more girls to take up a career in the sciences.”
A date for the unveiling ceremony has yet to be confirmed but it has been suggested that the unveiling will take place on Saturday 21st May (2022).