The statue of palaeontologist Mary Anning was unveiled in Lyme Regis on Dorset's Jurassic Coast on 21st May 2022. The date coincided with what would have been the famous fossil hunter's 222nd birthday. We are delighted to see the memorial of Mary Anning rightfully recognised in her hometown with this fitting tribute. Welcome back to Lyme Regis Mary Anning!
Mary Anning fossil hunter
The fossil hunter lived in Lyme Regis, on the Jurassic Coast, and began searching the coastline as a child. She was the first person to discover an ichthyosaur at a young age, and her passion for all-things prehistoric grew. Her painstaking life of working to find and sell fossils in Lyme Regis attracted worldwide interest. But despite going on to make many significant discoveries in the early 19th Century, her scientific work was never properly recognised.
The crowdfunding campaign
The statue unveiling marked the end result of a four year campaign by the Mary Anning Rocks campaign which was started by Evie Swire, and her mother, Anya Pearson. The four year crowdfunder for the memorial raised £100,000 to create a lasting tribute to the formidable scientist, who up until now had been considered something of an unsung hero.
Mary Anning statue is unveiled
Crowds turned out for the eagerly-anticipated unveiling event. A series of guest speakers which included TV presenter Professor Alice Roberts added to the build-up. When the statue was finally revealed the crowds cheered as Mary Anning was officially welcomed back to Lyme Regis. It is hoped that the statue will help to make Mary Anning visible as a role model for anyone who is thinking of getting into science.
The artist Denise Dutton was commissioned to create the bronze statue which shows Mary walking towards the beach with her basket and tools in hand, as well as her dog Tray at her feet.
Where is the Mary Anning statue located?
The monument has been installed close to Anning's birthplace at Long Entry and Gun Cliff Walk, Lyme Regis, DT7 3QB.
Find out more about Mary Anning's background as well as the fantastic fossil-themed visitor attractions in Lyme Regis – all a short distance from Newlands Holidays in Charmouth!