The Praying Shell – Bolton-le-Sands, England - Atlas Obscura

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The Praying Shell

Bolton-le-Sands, England

A limestone sculpture of a praying man resides over the site where 23 Chinese cockle pickers died.  


Often mistaken as a commemorative statue, this sculpture has become a memorial of sorts, honoring the deaths of 23 Chinese cockle pickers who died in Morecambe Bay working for criminal organizations. The sculpture was actually imagined before the tragedy occurred in 2004. 

Unveiled in November 2013 and carved out of limestone, “The Praying Shell” overlooks the Morecambe Bay. The creator, artist Anthony Padgett stated that the sculpture was designed to inspire walkers venturing along the bay.

Padgett said this about the sculpture, “Its symbolism is intended to parallel humanity’s openness to a larger dimension and the way cockle shells open as the tide comes in.”

Know Before You Go

The sculpture can be easy to miss. You must go around the back of Red Bank Farm and it is a sharp left up on the on the banking, looking over the Bay.

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February 3, 2021

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