Dame Penelope Keith unveils William Cobbett statue at Hawthorn Lodge

Dame Penelope Keith has unveiled a bronze statue of one of Farnham’s most famous sons, William Cobbett. The actress famed for her roles in The Good Life and To The Manor Born, joined residents and Cobbett Society members for a ceremony at Churchill’s new Hawthorn Lodge retirement development near the centre of town.

William Cobbett was a renowned international political figure both here in the UK and in America and was born in Farnham in 1763 very close to where Hawthorn Lodge now stands.

Charles Bone, Chairman of The Cobbett Statue charity, and Spencer McCarthy, Chairman and CEO of Churchill Retirement Living, were also on hand to take part in the grand unveiling, along with the Mayor of Waverley and Mayor of Farnham and Churchill’s Regional Managing Director Steve Jones.

The bronze statue of Cobbett on horseback was originally designed by Farnham resident Sheila Mitchell, a Fellow of the Royal British Society of Sculptors, who died in 2006 before she could see the work completed. Sheila’s husband Charles Bone, Chairman of the William Cobbett Statue Charity and himself an accomplished artist, has been instrumental in seeing the statue finished.

Churchill Retirement Living made a contribution of £10,000 to complete the total fundraising target of £50,000 that was needed to make the statue a reality. Its new Hawthorn Lodge development also provides a perfect setting for the statue to be located.

Penelope Keith said:

“It was a privilege for me to unveil this beautiful statue today. I hope it will serve to highlight to the people of Farnham the life and achievements of a little known but really quite extraordinary figure in British history.”

Charles Bone, Chairman of the Cobbett Statue Charity, added:

“It has taken many years of hard work to get to this point, and I’m absolutely delighted to see the statue finally take pride of place in such a wonderful location at the heart of the town.”

Spencer McCarthy, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Churchill Retirement Living, added:

“Churchill is an organisation that genuinely cares about looking after our customers, and we also care about giving something back to the communities we work in, so we’ve been very proud to support this project. The statue will make a real contribution to Farnham’s heritage. I’m glad we could provide the perfect location for it to live as the finishing feature of this beautiful new development.”

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