Installed in 2012 in the week when the Olympic Torch came to Cleveleys, this memorial marks all the ships which have fallen in our waters over the years
You’ll find the Shipwreck Memorial at the southernmost end of Cleveleys promenade opposite Kingsway – it also marks the boundary of the town of Cleveleys with Anchorsholme and the borough of Blackpool.
You’ll also notice that it’s where the stepped sea defence design of Cleveleys meets the ‘wave breaker’ unit design of the new defences at Anchorsholme, which were completed in late 2016.
More about the Shipwreck Memorial
Thie Shipwreck Memorial is a huge piece of iron, laser cut with the names of the lost vessels, standing tall against the sky, supported by two huge solid pieces of timber.
The iron was coated in bright orange oxidisation when it was installed, artistically mirroring the process which happens to all sunken ships.
The Shipwreck Memorial lists the vessels which have sunk or run aground off the shores of the Fylde Coast, between 1643 and 2008.
It also marks the start of the Mythical Coastline public art trail along the coastline at Cleveleys, where the story of the Sea Swallow comes to life through pieces of public art creating a trail around the Wyre coastline to Fleetwood.
You can read more about the other pieces of artwork in this section, including the Sea Swallow, the giant ogres paddle, the Ogre himself and Mary’s Shell.
More about the Shipwrecks
The Memorial begins with details of an unidentified vessel which was wrecked near Fleetwood in 1643, when it was set on fire by Royalists during the Civil War and ran aground.
It’s hard to imagine a time when the distant history that we learn about in school was actually being played out, here on our coastline that we’re all so familiar with.
The Abana is a well known local wreck which is listed on the memorial. That vessel came aground in 1894 after being hit by an 11 force SW gale, just 400 yards off Norbreck.
Poignantly, its ribs can still be seen on the beach at Little Bispham, behind the memorial (and in the photo below). A sunken wooden hull and reminder of an age old shiping industry from these shores.
Read more about the Abana shipwreck
Wreck of the Abana
Another well known local shipwreck is the HMS Foudroyant which was Nelson’s flagship and done-for by a June gale, to be wrecked off North Pier in Blackpool. You can see a memorial and Blue Plaque to it just at the right hand side of the pier on the promenade.
The wreck of the Abana is close to where the Riverdance ferry met its fate one stormy night on 31 January 2008, and lay on the beach as a modern wreck and overnight tourist sensation.
Riverdance is the last vessel to be listed on the Shipwreck Memorial.
Read more about the Riverdance shipwreck