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. The fabulous, award winning promenade also gives great access to the beach, and it’s 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. Start with this short video from Siteflight…
Cleveleys Mythic Coastline
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.
Here in Cleveleys, the funding allowed a legacy to be created to follow the sea defence works. It’s 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.
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.
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 namesake ‘Sea 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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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…
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