Who was the Waddon Man?

11 October 2021, 2 pm

For almost 400 years the skull of an unknown person was kept at Waddon Manor. Local folklore said that an enslaved man at the manor raised a fire alarm and was mistakenly killed by the owner. Recent forensic analysis confirms the skull probably comes from a man of African descent, who lived around the mid-17th century. Six deep indents in the skull indicate the attack that killed him was more aggressive and purposeful than accidental.

In this talk for Black History Month, Camilla King of Dorset Museum and Dr Martin Smith of Bournemouth University will attempt to shed some light on what folklore, history and science can tell us about the man’s identity and experiences.

  • Opening hours:

    Daily: 9.00am - 4.30pm
    Sunday: 10.00am - 4.00pm
    Bank Holidays: 10.00am - 4.00pm

  • Dorset Museum

    High West Street
    Dorchester DT1 1XA

    View Map