FOSSIL hunting fans have been given their first glimpse of what the much-anticipated statue of Mary Anning will look like.
A day after what would have been the famous fossil hunter’s 222nd birthday, a maquette of the Mary Anning statue went on display at the Marine Theatre.
The statue is being designed by artist Denise Dutton following a successful £100,000 fundraising appeal by Mary Anning Rocks which wanted to honour the palaeontologist in her hometown.
Many Mary fans and residents admired the model, commenting on its fine detail and the movement captured in the statue.
Among those attending was the Mayor of Lyme Regis, Cllr Brian Larcombe MBE, and mayoress Wendy Larcombe.
Denise will now be working on the full size statue, which is hoped will be erected on the square on Gun Cliff Walk, below the Marine Theatre, although planning permission has not yet been submitted.
For more details and updates, visit the website www.maryanningrocks.co.uk
Who was Mary Anning?
Mary was born in Lyme Regis in 1799 to a poor working class family and lived on the site of Lyme Regis Museum, which includes a wing named after the fossil hunter.
She collected and sold fossils from the Lyme Regis and Charmouth area from a young age, and her discoveries included the first correctly identified ichthyosaur skeleton; the first two nearly complete plesiosaur skeletons; the first pterosaur skeleton located outside of Germany; and fish fossils.
During her lifetime she was not fully accepted in the scientific community because of her gender and class, but Mary is now known as one of the most influential women in the history of science.
Mary died in 1847, aged 47, of breast cancer. A beach hut on Lyme Regis seafront – managed by Axminster and Lyme Regis Cancer Support for the sole use of those affected by cancer – was named after Mary in 2020.
Mary’s grave can be found in the churchyard at St Michael’s Parish Church in Lyme Regis.
She was recently depicted by Oscar-winning actress Kate Winslet in the movie ‘Ammonite’, filmed partially in Lyme Regis and Charmouth in March 2019.