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Last Updated: Monday, 30 January 2006, 17:22 GMT
Statue for Raleigh's birthplace
Sir Walter Raleigh statue
The new statue of Raleigh is being cast in bronze
A new statue of Elizabethan explorer Sir Walter Raleigh is to be unveiled at his birthplace in Devon.

Raleigh, who was born at Hayes Barton, near East Budleigh, brought back tobacco and potatoes to Britain from the New World, now the United States.

The statue, by Vivien Mallock, has been paid for by British American Tobacco.

The unveiling, which is to be carried out on 9 February, will mark the end of a 12-year campaign led by local MPs to acknowledge Raleigh's birthplace.

The full-length bronze statue will be mounted on a plinth made from stone from a local quarry at Stoneycombe.

Lasting memorial

East Devon Conservative MP Hugo Swire and his predecessor Sir Peter Emery led the campaign for the statue. It will be unveiled by the Duke of Kent.

Mr Swire said: "This represents a happy conclusion to a long-running saga and I am delighted that I have played a part in bringing about a lasting memorial to one of our local heroes."

The explorer, who was born in East Budleigh in 1552, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth I in 1587.

Five years ago the village lost a bid to have an existing statue of Sir Walter Raleigh relocated there.

The statue was moved from Whitehall Green to the Royal Academy in Greenwich leaving no local tribute to the seafarer and courtier to Elizabeth I.


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