We were absolutely delighted by the news that Millicent Fawcett, the great Suffragist, is to be honoured with a statue in Parliament Square, making her the first woman to be represented there. Dame Millicent Fawcett GBE (11 June 1847 – 5 August 1929) was the founder of the National Union of Womens Suffragist Societies. She was an English feminist, intellectual, political and union leader and writer but is primarily known for her work as a campaigner for women to have the vote. She founded Newham College, Cambridge to allow women to attend Cambridge University (see this link for further information about her). The Sculptor Gillian Wearing has been selected to fulfill the commission.
Millicent and her husband, the Postmaster General Henry Fawcett lived in a house on The Lawn but moved away after Henry’s premature death. The living conditions Vauxhall at that time were extremely hard and is was Henry’s wish that the people of Vauxhall could have access to open space for recreational purposes. We think that Millicent heard of the plan to build over the open space at the back of the houses on The Lawn. Together with Octavia Hill and the Kyrle Society, Millicent Fawcett ensured that her husband wish was fulfilled. For further details about the history of the Park, please visit our History page.
In 2013 the Friends of Vauxhall Park and the South London Fawcett Group invited Vauxhall MP Kate Hoey to unveil a plaque commemorating the Park’s connection to the Fawcetts. We’re pleased that the nation is catching up with us! Our plaque is situated on the corner of the central grassed area near to Parco Cafe and the tennis courts. This is the site of the Fawcett’s house and the Doulton statue of Henry Fawcett which was demolished by Lambeth Council in the 1950s. A mulberry tree is planted next to the plaque to remember the mulberry trees that grew in the Fawcett’s garden