Explore the Mythic Coast artwork trail on Cleveleys Seafront, and the story of the Sea Swallow
Have a look at the sculptures on Cleveleys beach and promenade, taken from the story of the Sea Swallow.
When Cleveleys sea defences were rebuilt their primary function was to protect the coastline from flooding.
The fabulous new, award winning promenade also gives great access to the beach and is also a brilliant leisure amenity. It’s a wonderful spot to visit and somewhere to enjoy the coast so it attracts people from near and far.
The new promenade was also an opportunity to be creative and make good use of the public space, and so the Mythic Coastline began to unfold…
Cleveleys Mythic Coastline
Funding for the ‘Cleveleys Mythic Coastline’ project was secured by Wyre Council through Sea Change. That was a national fund designed to regenerate the coast through the Arts, through which a lot more work was funded around the Marine Hall and gardens at Fleetwood.
In Cleveleys, it created a legacy to follow the sea defence works, and a story which is Cleveleys very own for the future.
The Sea Swallow – the Mythic Coast Story
The Sea Swallow is the story which underpins the Mythic Coast.
It’s written for children but with a charm that’s unmissable, and tells a fairy tale that blends legend with local features.
It includes the legends of sunken villages inspired by Singleton Thorpe and the petrified forest which you can still sometimes see on the beach today.
The Sea Swallow is written by Gareth Thompson and illustrated by Hannah McGee. In 2011, each primary school child in Wyre was given a copy of the book.
Artwork Trail: Mythic Coast on Cleveleys Seafront
The Sea Swallow story book is brought to life through a series of pieces of public artwork, which create a trail along the seafront.
In early 2012 the first two pieces of sculpture were installed.
The Sea Swallow Sculpture
The namesake ‘Sea Swallow’ is a huge, slim white piece of graceful sculpture. The Sea Swallows are cut into the top to fly over the beach and soar above, in all weathers.
It stands guard over the promenade and main high street. You can see it right from the far end of Victoria Road West as you approach the town.
Shipwreck Memorial Sculpture
At the boundary where Cleveleys meets Blackpool stands the Shipwreck Memorial.
It remembers all the vessels which have run aground on the Fylde coast, from the mists of time to the most recent wrecking of the Riverdance Ferry in 2008.
Giant Ogre’s Paddle
Opposite the buildings of Jubilee Leisure Park, you’ll find the Ogre’s Paddle.
It’s a huge wooden carving which stands on the upper promenade, facing the sea, inscribed with words from the Sea Swallow story book.
Head north along the promenade (with the sea on your left) and just beyond the Paddle, opposite Jubilee Gardens, is a rock groyne.
On the north side of the groyne, right at the seaward end, when the tide is out you can see the Ogre himself.
You’ll have to look closely for him, he usually wears a green coat of seaweed which helps him to blend into the rocks. But he’s got a very kind face… head down onto the sands at low tide and say hello to our big stone friend.
When the tide is out you’ll not fail to spot Mary’s Shell on the beach.
Even when the tide is in, you can usually still see the top of it! Look for the steelwork… poking up through the waves.
It’s sat, huge and unmissable, on the sand near to the round seafront cafe building.
Walk down onto the sand at low tide and climb inside the shell, peer through the end of it towards the sea.
Make sure to take lots of photos – everyone else does – and share yours with us!
Glass-Look Resin Sea Swallows
The plan was to install a series of these beautiful little resin Sea Swallows along the sea wall near to the Sea Swallow Sculpture at the end of Victoria Road West.
Unfortunately they were vandalised on the day of installation so were removed for safe keeping.
Petrified Forest Interpretation Sign
One of the plans was for a Petrified Forest Interpretation Board. (This wasn’t completed).
A shadow of a former woodland lies on the beach, submerged by rising tides many histories ago.
This piece was to be 1.5 x 3m, made from reinforced glass and galvanised steel sections, to replace the safety rail on the promenade.
It would have explained the story of the sunken, petrified forest.
Sea Swallow story book