Ashton’s glory

Ashton Memorial St Annes after refurbishment work
Ashton Memorial St Annes after refurbishment work

THE historic memorial commemorating the man who founded St Annes’ Ashton Gardens has been lovingly restored.

Thousands of pounds have been spent on returning the Lord Ashton monument, in the park’s Rose Garden, to its former glory.

The project – which included a painstaking search for a particular kind of limestone – was carried out by friends’ group The Supporters of Ashton Gardens, thanks to funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

SOAG chairman Fred Moor said: “Altogether, Lord Ashton gave today’s equivalent of £5 million to acquire and extend the Gardens for the people, and on their behalf SOAG has documented the history of the gardens, and restored his monument, which we hope will last for another 100 years.”

The monument has been completely restored, with Kirkham architects Croft Goode overseeing the project.

SOAG’s members donated £12,000 toward the work, while a lottery grant of £50,000 was also used for the scheme.

Jon Harrison, SOAG’s vice-chairman, added: “The work was completed on budget, but took a little longer than expected as a result of a prolonged search that led us to a small quarry in Anglesey for a close-matching marine limestone to recreate the original wing walls.”

The group is planning to hand the restored monument back to Fylde Council’s care at a special handover ceremony on Wednesday, when it will be received by Coun Sue Fazackerley, portfolio holder for leisure and tourism, and Mayor Coun Howard Henshaw.

As part of the project, the Supporters of Ashton Gardens are also planning to release a DVD next month which will outline the history of the town centre Gardens, as well as going live with a website so the footage can be seen worldwide.