25 October 2021
A blue plaque to mark the life of William Wilberforce MP (1759-1833) at Marden Park, now home to Woldingham School, was unveiled by Claire Coutinho, MP for East Surrey, on Friday 15 October (pictured with Woldingham Head Dr James Whitehead and Head Girl Desiree).
As a leading campaigner for the abolition of the slave trade and slavery, the day to mark Wilberforce’s time at Marden Park was chosen in the run up to Anti-slavery Day on Monday 18 October, which aims to raise awareness of human trafficking and modern slavery nearly 200 years after Wilberforce’s death.
Wilberforce lived at Marden Park for two years near the end of his life from 1821-23. It’s reported that Wilberforce said it was ‘one of the prettiest spots that I ever saw’.
Guests at the unveiling included Mrs Carol Wates, a relative of Wilberforce, and her husband John, local councillors, and Woldingham Sixth Form students taking A Levels in history and politics.
The blue plaque will be a lasting reminder of the life of Wilberforce, who was such an important figure in history.