Treasure hunt for hidden monuments

Saxon soldiers monuments in Fulwood
Saxon soldiers monuments in Fulwood

Tom Finney’s statue makes a splash, while Eric Morecambe’s brings people sunshine.

But the hunt is now on for Lancashire’s lesser-known - even secret or forgotten - memorials as part of an Historic England project called Immortalised.

Sir Robert Peel's statue in Winckley Square

Sir Robert Peel's statue in Winckley Square

The heritage body wants the public to share their knowledge of local monuments, street shrines and community tributes in public places.

“We are creatures of memory, and every generation has commemorated people in the built environment,” said Duncan Wilson, chief executive of Historic England.

“Their stories may involve episodes of heroism or generosity and be inspirational, or they may involve episodes which are shameful by today’s standards. They all tell us something about the lives of our ancestors.

“One of Historic England’s most important jobs is to work with the public to identify and record information about what’s embedded in our streets, squares and parks, and to share it with others to enable current and future generations to understand and value their local historic environment.”

Preston Martyrs memorial in Lune Street.

Preston Martyrs memorial in Lune Street.

The memorials can be heroic, quirky, sad, inspirational, or challenging. Whatever and wherever they are, Historic England wants people to send in information and photographs.

The hunt is only part of Immortalised, a season launched this week to help people explore the country’s memorial landscape – who is remembered, who is missing and why.

It will include events, an exhibition, a debate and a design competition.

Monuments in Lancashire already identified include the bronze bust in Colne of Wallace Hartley, bandmaster on the ill-fated Titanic, who kept the orchestra playing while the ship went down.

Les Dawson’s statue in St Annes has been included, along with the grave of a young black slave at Sunderland Point, Lancaster.

Historic England has launched the search nationwide, looking for information about lesser-known memorials, those that are well-loved by small groups or communities but unknown nationally.

They are also looking for rituals and activities attached to memorials.