The Wildman is something of a mystery in Marsden Park. It appears twice, once as a relief on the main entrance, and once as a statue that has gone missing. The statue is now replaced, but sits indoors at the Old Hall. Sue says: “It used to be in one of the gateposts but somebody stole it, so we made another one. The original was totally naked and his club was much bigger.”
The Wildman features in the last of the ‘Missing from Marsden’ posters. As a symbol, The Wildman captures the essence of the park as an ambiguous space, a meeting point between man and nature, where the rules of who governs are unclear. The park is an open public space. With so many gates and entrances, I was surprised to learn the park remains accessible at night time. Dotted around the parameters of the park you can see some sections of the old railing, most have been removed for the war effort. But these railings are now ornamental and have no real functional use of separation. The Wildman, if he ever existed, would be at home here.