Preston Statues Trail
Grab your explorer's hat and discover the diverse selection of statues to admire in Preston city centre and beyond...
There's a great choice of statues and sculptures to appreciate throughout Preston. So whether you're after something historical, artistic, or both, there's something for everyone to enjoy.
You can visit these individually or follow the Preston City Centre Statue Trail. The trail is roughly 1.5 miles and takes around 40 minutes to complete.
To embark on this trail download the "Preston City Centre Statue Trail" guide from the documents section below.
City centre statues
The City Centre boasts a large number of statues dotted about the streets, all within walking distance from each other. Equally central are Avenham and Miller Park's spectacular statues and monuments, along with stunning architecture and beautiful fountains, all dating back to the 1860s.
Obelisk Monument - Avenham Park
Dedicated to the servicemen who died in the 1899 - 1902 Boer War, this attractive monument sits overlooking Avenham Park. The monument stands at 25 feet, surrounded by flowers as well as the beautiful scenery of Avenham Park's Japanese Gardens.
Sevastopol Cannons - Avenham Park
Sitting on either side of Avenham Park's steps, overlooking the River Ribble, are two Sevastopol Cannons. These are replicas of the cannons presented to Preston in 1855 after they were captured at Sevastopol, Russia, during the Crimean War.
Earl of Derby Statue - Miller Park
Overlooking the fountain in picturesque Miller Park is the 14th Earl of Derby statue. This statue is of Edward George Geoffrey Smith-Stanley who was British Prime Minister 1866 - 1868 and longest running Conservative Party leader to date.
Sir Robert Peel - Winckley Square
In memory of Sir Robert Peel's achievements, this statue in Winckley Square was erected by public subscription in 1852. After abolishing the Corn Laws in 1846, Sir Robert Peel was held in great esteem by the poor. Unfortunately he passed away in 1850, resulting in the people of Preston erecting this statue in his honour with the help of sculptor, Thomas Duckett.
Cotton Reel - Avenham Road
Featuring a large bobbin and sewing needle, this inviting statue designed by Van Nong and local residents commemorates the former Simpsons Gold Thread Works and marks its importance in the city's history. The Gold Thread Works produced gold and silver wire embroidery for the military as well as many other important work, including uniforms for the staff of the Titanic and German military badges for English spies.
Preston Martyrs - Lune Street
Situated outside the Corn Exchange building, A.K.A 1842 Bar, is the Preston Martyrs Memorial statue. Marking the site of the Lune Street Riots in 1842, Gordon Young designed this statue to depict the four factory workers who were shot dead by the military. The iconic memorial was intended to remind people "Never without sacrifice have gains been made towards justice and democracy".
Peace Gardens - Friargate
Opposite the Preston Martyrs statue are the Friargate Peace Gardens. The Peace Gardens feature outdoor seating surrounded by pieces of poetry and depictions of doves, a place to watch the world go by. Opened in 1991 and designed by Graham Mort, the gardens originally housed the praying hands sculpture which now resides on Fylde Road.
The Cenotaph - Market Square
A monument to the soldiers from Preston who perished in WWI, the Cenotaph is an impressive memorial designed by Sir Gilbert Scott and featuring sculptural work by Henry Alfred Pegram. Unveiled in 1926 and recently restored, the main feature of the Cenotaph is the sculptured "Victory" figure along with the dead pleading for acceptance of their sacrifice.
The Obelisk - Market Square
The Obelisk in Preston's Market Square dates from 1782. Removed and then restored again in 1979, the re-erection on the site was to mark the 800th anniversary of the city being granted the charter by King Henry II.
Beyond the city centre
There are a number of impressive sculptures and statues outside the city centre that make a great visit or make up a trail of their own.
Sir Tom Finney "The Splash" - Deepdale Stadium
Situated just outside the centre is Preston North End's Deepdale Stadium, home to "The Splash" statue. The water feature sculpture pays homage to the late Sir Tom Finney who is a celebrated footballer and famous for his loyalty to Preston North End FC. Sculptured by Peter Hodgkinson, he was inspired by the 1956 'Sports Photograph of the Year' which featured Sir Tom Finney beating two defenders at a waterlogged Stamford Bridge.
The Millennium Ribble Link Sculpture Trail
The Ribble Link is a waterway opened in 2002 connecting Lancaster Canal to the River Ribble. The link makes for a pleasant walk and features impressive sculptures by Thompson Dagnall along the way. The sculptures are based on the elements of Air, Earth, Fire and Water and are a must see. Also included along the trail is a sculpture by artist, Denis O'Connor as well as Thompson Dagnall's superb giant crow at the end of the link.
So keep your eyes peeled, there's plenty to see! Averaging 2 hours to complete, the trail is 5.9 miles long. For more information on the route see AllTrails - The Millennium Ribble Link.
Statue map addresses
- Obelisk Monument - Avenham Park, PR1 8JT
- Sevastopol Cannons - Avenham Colonnade, PR1 8JT
- Earl of Derby Statue - South Meadow Lane, PR1 8JT
- Sir Robert Peel - Winckley Square, PR1 3JJ
- Cotton Reel - Avenham Road, PR1 3TH
- Preston Martyrs - Lune Street, PR1 2NN
- Peace Gardens - Friargate, PR1 2ED
- The Cenotaph - Market Square, PR1 2PP
- The Obelisk - Market Square, PR1 2PP
- Sir Tom Finney "The Splash" - Deepdale Stadium, PR1 6RU
- The Millennium Ribble Link (Starting Point) - Blackpool Road, PR4 0XD