Public Art Trail: Mythic Coast on Cleveleys Seafront

Public Art Trail: Mythic Coast on Cleveleys Seafront

Explore the Mythic Coast on Cleveleys Seafront, with the artwork trail that follows the story of the Sea Swallow.

The primary function of the Cleveleys sea defence scheme (the final phase opened in 2010) is to protect the coastline from flooding. But, the fabulous, award winning promenade also gives great access to the beach and is a brilliant leisure amenity. It’s a wonderful spot to visit and somewhere to enjoy the coast. 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… Have a look at the sculptures on Cleveleys beach and promenade, and explore the story of the Sea Swallow.

Cleveleys Mythic Coastline

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Funding for the ‘Cleveleys Mythic Coastline’ project was secured by Wyre Council through Sea Change. It was a national fund designed to regenerate the coast through the Arts. At the time a lot more work was also funded around the Marine Hall and gardens at Fleetwood.

In Cleveleys, the funding allowed the creation of a legacy to follow the sea defence works, and a story which is Cleveleys very own for the future.

The Sea Swallow and the Mythic Coast on Cleveleys Seafront

The Sea Swallow Cleveleys own story which underpins the Mythic Coast. A fairytale written for children, it blends legend with local features and folklore.

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. You might still be able to get a copy of it from the tourist information centre at Marine Hall.

Sea Swallow Story Book, unfolding the story of the Mythic Coast on Cleveleys Seafront
Sea Swallow Story Book, unfolding the story of the Mythic Coast on Cleveleys Seafront

Sea Swallow Story Book, unfolding the story of the Mythic Coast on Cleveleys Seafront

Artwork Trail: Mythic Coast on Cleveleys Seafront

The Sea Swallow story book comes to life through a series of pieces of public artwork in a trail along the seafront.

In early 2012 the first two pieces of sculpture were installed. Follow the links to find out more about each of the individual pieces of artwork.

The Sea Swallow Sculpture

The namesakeSea Swallow is a huge, slim, white, graceful sculpture. The birds themselves are cut into the top where they fly over the beach. See them soar above in all weathers, and used as a perch by the local starlings.

The sculpture 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, as far away as the roundabout at Morrisons.

Sea Swallow Sculpture on Cleveleys promenade - artwork from the Mythic Coast on Cleveleys Seafront
Sea Swallow Sculpture on Cleveleys promenade – artwork from the Mythic Coast on Cleveleys Seafront

Shipwreck Memorial Sculpture

At the boundary where Cleveleys meets Blackpool stands the Shipwreck Memorial.

It remembers all of 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.

Shipwreck Sculpture on Cleveleys promenade, artwork from the Mythic Coast on Cleveleys Seafront
Shipwreck Sculpture on Cleveleys promenade, artwork from the Mythic Coast on Cleveleys Seafront

Giant Ogre’s Paddle

Opposite the buildings of Jubilee Leisure Park, you’ll find the Ogre’s Paddle.

It’s a huge wooden carving on the upper promenade, facing the sea. It’s inscribed with words from the Sea Swallow story book. Feel free to sit on it and take a selfie!

Giant Ogres Paddle on Cleveleys promenade
Giant Ogres Paddle on Cleveleys promenade

Stone Ogre

Head north along the promenade (with the sea on your left). 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’ll see the Ogre himself.

You’ll have to look closely to see him. He usually wears a green coat of seaweed which helps him to blend into the rocks, although he does get a proper wash every so often. But he’s got a very kind face… head down onto the sands at low tide and say hello to our big stone friend.

Stone Ogre on Cleveleys beach, artwork from the Mythic Coast on Cleveleys Seafront
Stone Ogre on Cleveleys beach, artwork from the Mythic Coast on Cleveleys Seafront

Mary’s Shell

When the tide is out you’ll not miss Mary’s Shell. 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.

Even when the tide is in, you can usually still see the top of it! Look for the steelwork… poking up through the waves.

Make sure to take lots of photos – everyone else does. Don’t forget to share yours with us!

Mary's Shell on Cleveleys beach
Mary’s Shell on Cleveleys beach

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.

Resin Sea Swallows on Cleveleys promenade
Resin Sea Swallows on Cleveleys promenade

Petrified Forest Interpretation Sign

A shadow of a former woodland lies on the beach, submerged by rising tides many centuries ago. One of the plans was for a piece to explain the Petrified Forest which lays out on the beach.

Petrified Forest Interpretation, proposal for artwork from the Mythic Coast on Cleveleys Seafront
Petrified Forest Interpretation, proposal for artwork from the Mythic Coast on Cleveleys Seafront

Made from reinforced glass and galvanised steel sections to replace the safety rail on the promenade, it would have been 1.5 x 3m. had it been completed it would have explained the story of the sunken, petrified forest.

While you’re here…

Have a look at the homepage of the Visit Cleveleys website for more of the latest updates.

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