Mr Monkey scampered down Duke Street. At the junction with Lord Street West he had a quick peek at the Lord Street West United Church, which opened in 1862. A little further on, Mr Monkey found some stonework commemorating the early days of Southport. In 1792 William Sutton built a bathing house and hotel in the sand dunes of South Hawes. Most people thought it was a silly place for a hotel, and called it Dukes Folly. However, Sutton was proved right and Southport appeared out of nowhere. After Sutton died someone attached a stone tablet honouring him to the original house. In 1860 the Improvement Commissioners replaced that house with a memorial column which included the stone panel from the 1792 house as well as a new panel. And in 1912 the column was removed and both panels were cemented into a wall at the end of the road, ready for Mr Monkey to look at it 2012.
THESE TABLETS FORMED PART OF MONUMENT WHICH STOOD FROM 1860 TO 1912 ABOUT 34 YARDS WEST OF THIS POINT ON THE SITE OF THE ORIGINAL HOTEL OR 'DUKES FOLLY'
IN THE YEAR OF OUR LORD 1792 THIS HOUSE WAS BUILT. IN MEMORY OF D.W. SUTTON of North-meols who was the first Founder & Executor of Southport which was call'd his Folly for many Years, and it prove that his foresight was his Wisdom which should be remembered with Gratitude by the LORDS of this Manor and the Inhabitants of this PLACE ALSO.
THIS COLUMN WAS ERECTED A.D. 1860 by the Improvement Commisioners as a tribute of respect to the late WILLIAM SUTTON Commonly known as the Old Duke The Founder of Southport. He was born at Churchtown North Meols A.D. 1752 and died there May 22 1840 He erected almost on this spot A.D. 1792 the First House in what is now the flourishing Town of Southport, then a wilderness of Sandhills, the house originally called "Dukes Folly" was afterwards known as the Original Hotel. A Memorial Tablet, taken from its walls has been placed on the N.E. side of this Column and this street has recieved the name of Duke Street in remembrance of the Old Duke.
You can read about the church at the Lord Street West United Church website and about William Sutton at Wikipedia.
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Copyright Rik Shepherd and Mr Monkey.