Ribble Valley college celebrates the return of an icon

The return of the statue.
The return of the statue.

Ribble Valley residents are invited to celebrate the return of Stonyhurst College's iconic Lady statue this Saturday following an £80,000 restoration.

The school will be hosting a re-dedication service for the return of Our Lady of Stonyhurst at St Peter’s Church on the Stonyhurst estate at 3pm followed by a reception at the Hurst Green Catholic Club – and all local residents are welcome.

The statue being lowered on to its plinth.

The statue being lowered on to its plinth.

The statue, a replica of the famous Colonna della Immacolata near the Piazza di Spagna in Rome, has stood at the end of the school’s avenue for 137 years.

It was removed last year while it underwent a major renovation as part of Stonyhurst’s 425th anniversary year celebrations. It was returned to its plinth by crane just last week.

The restoration work was made possible through the generous donations of Stonyhurst alumni Lawrence Leong OS 82 and the de St John-Pryce family, family of Lt. Col. James de St John-Pryce OS 96 and Winton de St John-Pryce OS 99.

Following a prayer service at St Peter’s Church, there will be a procession on foot to the Lady statue for its re-dedication.

Stonyhurst College at Hurst Green.

Stonyhurst College at Hurst Green.

The Stonyhurst Lady statue is made of cast iron but is painted to resemble marble. It depicts Mary, as defined in the Book of Revelation 12:1: "And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars."

The figure stands on a globe which is decorated by the symbols of the Four Evangelists.