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Wells lifeboat memorial announced as one of top 20 heritage sites for 2017

PUBLISHED: 17:32 18 December 2017 | UPDATED: 17:32 18 December 2017

The Eliza Adams memorial, with the Wells harbour office in the background, which was the lifeboat station at the time of the tragedy. Picture: RAY HEWETT.

The Eliza Adams memorial, with the Wells harbour office in the background, which was the lifeboat station at the time of the tragedy. Picture: RAY HEWETT.

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The Eliza Adams lifeboat memorial in Wells has been named as one of 20 unusual heritage sites in the UK for 2017, in a move which north Norfolk MP Norman Lamb described as “wonderful”.

Thomas Kew, one of two survivors of the Eliza Adams tragedy, pictured next to the memorial. He launched the appeal to fund the memorial to the lost crew. Picture: Wells Lifeboat Station. Thomas Kew, one of two survivors of the Eliza Adams tragedy, pictured next to the memorial. He launched the appeal to fund the memorial to the lost crew. Picture: Wells Lifeboat Station.

The Grade II listed memorial honours the RNLI Wells crew members who lost their lives in an 1880 rescue mission.

After being added to Historic England’s register of protected sites in June, the memorial has now been included in an end-of-year round up of 20 of the most intriguing or unusual places that have been listed in 2017.

Mr Lamb said: “It is wonderful to learn the Eliza Adams Lifeboat Memorial has been given this well-deserved honour.

“The memorial serves as a reminder of the resilience and community spirit of the people of Wells and the continued dedication of RNLI Wells Lifeboat.”

The Eliza Adams memorial in Wells. Picture: Wells Lifeboat. The Eliza Adams memorial in Wells. Picture: Wells Lifeboat.

The memorial was unveiled in 1906, and more than 2,000 people attended the ceremony for the doomed rescue mission which took place on October 29, 1880.

After a successful rescue, the Eliza Adams RNLI lifeboat went out immediately afterwards to help a vessel which had run aground.

The lifeboat was capsized by a large wave. 12 of the crew were washed from the boat and 11 drowned, leaving 10 widows and 28 orphans.

Duncan Wilson, chief executive of Historic England, said: “99pc of people in England live within a mile of a listed building or place.

“While many places on the list are well-known and even world-famous, we also want people to understand and enjoy the extraordinary range of history on their own doorsteps.

“These sites are irreplaceable and showcase the wonderfully distinct and diverse character of England and its people across thousands of years.”

Heritage Minister, John Glen, said: “This list shows the breadth and diversity of our heritage.

“In the year we marked the 70th anniversary of the listing scheme, I am pleased that so many important and interesting places have been protected for the nation.”

Other sites added to the list this year included a war horse’s gravestone, a pair of acoustic mirrors carved into a cliff, and a Japanese-style garden.

The 20 sites that have been listed this year were announced on Monday December 18.

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