Heysham stone coffins erosion fears laid to rest

The stone graves on Heysham Head are in danger of falling into the sea, says a concerned reader.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 4th September 2017, 5:35 pm
Updated Monday, 11th September 2017, 1:04 pm
The stone graves at Heysham Head are one of the last sites to visit on the app.
The stone graves at Heysham Head are one of the last sites to visit on the app.

People from as far as Australia are worried St Patrick’s Rock Tombs are suffering from erosion which may result in their fall off the cliffs.

Angela Gardner, formerly of Heysham who now lives in Australia, wrote a letter to the Visitor and said: “A lot of land has been lost since I left the town in 1968. Could the council do something before they fall into the sea?”

The graves are not the responsibilty of Lancaster City Council but the National Trust charity.

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“Rangers care for the stone graves at Heysham Head,” said Georgina Lofthouse, general manager at the trust.

“We look after much of this area, working closely with the Morecambe Bay Partnership. We appreciate there may be some concern about erosion, but we’d hope to reassure people that we know from regular monitoring that it will be a very long time – many decades, before the graves are at risk.

“We’d be more than happy to share more detail about the monitoring process and would encourage anyone to contact us directly about this.”

A National Trust spokesman added: “Although some of the headland beyond the graves has indeed eroded over the last few decades, there is no imminent threat to the graves or chapel which are set back from the sea. The National Trust will of course keep monitoring the situation and with guidance from English Heritage and others, will consider taking appropriate action to secure the Scheduled Monument if necessary in the future. But in the meantime, please be assured these important archaeological features are in safe hands and can continue to be enjoyed for generations to come.”