Wisbech – Clarkson Memorial

The Clarkson Memorial was erected in 1881 to mark the life of Thomas Clarkson, the anti-slavery campaigner. There is more about his life in the town’s museum, which is well worth visiting.

The memorial was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott, the same man who mauled about so many British churches. I hadn’t realised that his talents extended to this sort of work, but it’s a visually interesting reminder of Clarkson and it’s in a prominent position. The site on which the memorial was placed was formerly the town’s Customs House, and before that it had been Wisbech’s Butter Market.

There were some youngsters who had congregated at the base of the memorial to listen to loud music and shout, which made taking photos rather more difficult. I think they thought I was taking discreet photos of them, which added to the excitement about the whole event.

There are motifs around the exterior of the statue which follow the theme of slavery, and the freedoms which that stole from so many. The memorial was funded by public subscription and from a large donation from the Peckover family, who were wealthy local residents.