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24 July, 2005

Cycle ride: Lancaster-Sambo's Grave-Morecambe-Lancaster

I've frequently been to Sunderland (the tiny village at the mouth of the River Lune near Lancaster, not the large city near Newcastle-upon-Tyne), but hadn't found its most notable landmark, Sambo's Grave. *

As the name suggests, this is the grave of an 18th Century slave put ashore from a ship heading to Lancaster, who died either of disease or a broken heart, depending on one's favoured story. The burial site is some distance from the settlement, in the corner of a field on the other side of the headland.

After the short walk to the grave and a few photos, I cycled back across the saltmarsh to 'the mainland' at Overton, on to Morecambe via Heysham, then home to Lancaster.

Incidentally, the grave is definitely near Sunderland Point, within a few miles of Lancaster, not on the Wirral, the peninsula between Liverpool and Wales. At least two people have already visited this entry via a seach for "sambo slave buried wirral" or similar, but that's incorrect.

* In performing web searches for 'Sambo's Grave', you may find that one person has posted comments to a number of sites, suggesting that 'Samboo's Grave' is the correct name. That's possible, but there is no evidence to support this one person's assertion, which contradicts decades, even centuries, of actual usage, and one can easily propose a counter-argument. Widespread repetition doesn't prove anything!


The wrecked ship is the 'Vanadis'.

Best regards

Posted by Alan Ogden at November 7, 2006 02:11 PM

Many thanks, Alan. I'll update the page (which will probably make your comment look redundant, but I do appreciate it!).

Posted by NRT at November 7, 2006 02:20 PM

I am a frequent visitor to Sambo's Grave. In fact, on the walk down the lane, you will see a bench dedicated to my Great-Grandad George Willie Goodship.

As children, my grandad taught us a song, but I can only remember some of the words - if anyone else out there can fill in the blanks I would appreciate it.

The lyrics I can remember are:
"Sambo you lie so far from home,
quietly by the seashore, never more to roam,
Sleeping or so your gravestone says
Waiting for your master, these long and lonely days."

Posted by Helen at February 11, 2007 02:39 PM
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