A ‘Ghost walk’ will see members of the public walk in the footsteps of Daniel Defoe in his bedevilled journey through Wellington.
Most famed for the novel Robinson Crusoe, the English author once passed through the town on his way to Taunton.
But the visit was not a happy one. After donating to a beggar in Rockwell Green, then known as ‘Rogue’s Green’, he soon became overwhelmed by a crowd demanding further handouts.
He quickly moved to gallop away on his horse as beggars gave chase, later recounting in his diary that: “They ran after us through the whole street and a great way out of the town. We were glad to ride as fast as we could through the town to get clear of them."
Now Extours, a company which hosts tours of historical and haunted sites, is investigating the famous visit, as well as other ‘forgotten histories’ of the town.
The firm said its Wellington tour would “Uncover untold stories and forgotten histories of Wellington. This, coupled with our unique combination of paranormal investigation, promises an unforgettable encounter with the past.”
The renewed interest in Defoe follows Wellinton Town Council agreeing to erect a ‘blue plaque’ in memory of the famous author to commemorate his brief visit. It is hoped to be fixed in Monmouth Gardens, near the plaque marking Wellington’s involvement in the Monmouth rebellion.
The North Street garden, which was once the site of the Half Moon Inn, is believed to have been where the secret of the Duke of Monmouth’s position was revealed, helping to result in his defeat in battle at Sedgemoor.