Joy at Our Lady's return

Bringing the statue home
Bringing the statue home

A familiar figure has been welcomed back to its Lancashire home after an £80,000 restoration project.

It was a cause for celebration after Stonyhurst College’s Our Lady statue was returned to its landmark location, just off the avenue leading to the famous Catholic public school, near Preston.

The statue, a replica of the famous Colonna della Immacolata near the Piazza di Spagna in Rome, had overlooked visitors to the College for 137 years.

It was removed last year while it underwent a major renovation as part of Stonyhurst’s 425th anniversary year celebrations.

The statue had to be craned in to be relocated on its plinth.

The restoration work was made possible through donations from Stonyhurst alumni Lawrence Leong and the de St John-Pryce family.

A rededication service was held at St Peter’s Church, Stonyhurst, before a procession to the statue for its rededication and a reception at St Peter’s Catholic Club in Hurst Green.

The statue is made of cast-iron but is painted to resemble marble. It stands on a globe which carries the symbols of the Four Evangelists SS Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

The Lady Statue and plinth were originally gifted to the college as a thanksgiving by Thomas Eyre, who donated £200 for their creation.