Most Frequently asked Questions & Answers


Q: Are you are registered charity?

A: Yes, and our Registered Charity Number is 1188919

Q: Do you have the support of Lyme Regis Town Council? 

A: Yes, 100% full council backing from the town council and the mayor Cllr Brian Larcombe MBE.

Q: Have you agreed on a location for the statue? 

A: The location (subject to an engineer’s report and planning permission) will be next to the giant anchor in the center of the town on the seafront behind the Anning wing of the museum.

Q: Have you found an artist yet to sculpt Mary? 

A: Mary Anning Rocks spent a great deal of time from the start of the campaign in 2018 researching and looking at existing projects and speaking with the organisations and artists that created them. Both ourselves and 3 town councillors at that time talked in-depth to a number of artists as part of the selection process and made our shortlist of artists we wanted to work with. All the artists we spoke with had produced critically renowned statues across the UK so we felt extremely confident that we were engaging with artists of merit.

We are now happy to announce that our commissioned artist will be Denise Dutton. Denise’s recent commissions have been the Annie Kenny statue raised in Bolton last year and the Land Girls monument unveiled by the Countess of Wessex at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire

We have also delivered a local school engagement programme with Lyme Regis artist Darrell Wakelam. It is important to us that the next generation of custodians of Mary’s legacy have a say in how she will look. The winning artworks will be used as part of Denise's design process for Mary’s statue.  

Q: Who will own the statue?

A: We are registered as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) and the statue will ultimately be owned by the trustees of Mary Anning Rocks. Our intention is at some point in the near future is to gift the statue to the people of Lyme Regis. 

Q: What is the projected cost for the project? 

A: The statue alone will be between £65,000 and £75,000 not including a base, installation, engineering, legal and planning costs. So including a contingency fund we are aiming to raise £100,000.

Q: How much have you raised so far? 

A: To date, we have raised over £37,000 in donations and pledges which is halfway to the estimate and this is without crowdfunding. We had to put on hold the crowdfund that was due to launch in May 2020 on Mary's 221st birthday, because of COVID-19. But will now launch this November 2020. 

Q: Will there just be a statue?

A: No, as part of the crowdfund we are looking to use a stretch target to enable us to build a sustainable learning legacy that will live on after the statue is raised. We are looking to introduce a free down loadable App, Bluetooth activated nearfield technology or scannable QR codes that will allow visitors to interact with the statue and learn more about Mary’s life and work. This could also include augmented reality so people can really see how Mary's world would have looked like. Its important that any contemporary memorialisation be contextualised for a modern audience, not doing this is precisely why some statues are now being toppled. 

Q: Do you have support from any local or national organisations?

A: We have been supported and helped by so many amazing people and organisations who have been integral to our success so far. In no particular order: Dr. Susie Maidment and the team at The Natural History MuseumPhil Davidson and the team at The Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre, Sarah Day at The Geological SocietySteve Etches and his team at The Etches CollectionVictoria Herridge and her colleagues at Trowelblazers and Nick Pierpoint, President of The Geologists’ Association to name just a few. 

We are also in talks with Palmers Brewery on the long-awaited £7 million redevelopment of the 3 Cups Hotel in Lyme Regis. Initial discussions have been offers to contribute to structural and groundwork for the statue. They have also offered to help our campaign in other ways which are still under wraps but would generate substantial funds and publicity for us - watch this space!

Q: What grants and funding are you applying for or have received?

A: We are the recipients of a grant from the Curry Fund and now that we have secured charitable status we were in the process of going after funding that was not available to us before, like The Alice Ellen Cooper Dean Charitable Trust and The Valentine Charitable Trust both are organisation that has gifted to similar Dorset based projects in recent years. We were also looking into applying to The Heritage Lottery Fund, but again all this is on hold due to COVID. We have also received a £5,000 gift from the proceeds of filming Ammonite in April 2019 from Fossils Films, starring Kate Winslet.

Q: Who are your Patrons and supporters?

A: We are so lucky to have the most amazing patrons, they are Tracy Chevalier author of nine novels, including the international bestseller Girl with a Pearl Earring, as well as Remarkable Creatures, a novel about Mary Anning. Sir David Attenborough, needs no introductions, Professor Alice Roberts, academic, writer and broadcaster, Professor Jack Horner one of the world's foremost palaeontologists and is Emeritus Regent's Professor, Montana State University, Dr. Anjana Khatwa an Earth Scientist specialising in bringing stories about the origins and formation of natural landscapes to life, Dr. Dean Lomax is an internationally recognised multi-award-winning palaeontologist, presenter, and author. Professor Hugh S. Torrens is a British historian of geology and palaeontology and Emeritus Professor of Palaeontology at Keele University. Go check them out on our website!

Q: What breed was Mary’s dog, Tray?

A: From a sketch Mary made of Tray it’s believed he was a spaniel cross and was black and white in colour. We did a blog about him that you can read here.

Q: Will Mary be wearing a bonnet or a top hat in the finished statue?

A: Or will she just have her hair tied up, out of the way? It’s all down to the artist we pick and the ideas they come up with. Watch this space!

Q: Did she 'Sell seashells on the seashore?'

A: We don't think she did, read our blog here.

Posted by Anya on June 3rd 2020

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