On June 30, 1928 the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities arranged for and provided a plaque to be displayed at the site where the three ships sailed for America in 1606. It was placed on the Master House, Brunswick Wharf, Blackwall, England and commemorated the landing at Cape Henry, Virginia and the establishment of the first permanent English Colony in America.
In May, 1951, due to the loss of the building, the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities had to have the plaque moved to a point nearby, and it was placed on its present monument. Sometime after 1951 the plaque was stolen and in 1971 the APVA had the monument moved to the dockside at Brunswick Wharf, and a new plaque was mounted on a granite base where it stands today, and is known as the Blackwall Marker. Capt. Edward Maria Wingfield’s name is on this plaque as is John Smith and others that made the historical voyage.
Unfortunately the marker is seldom visited, and few people even know it exists. Its location is difficult to find and is off the main road. It is as though no one cares.The WFS members on the Wingfield Tour visited the monument in June, 1988 and had to make special arrangements to get into the bustling site where new buildings were being constructed. It is not an imposing or impressive monument, but it has tremendous historical significance and it is important that it not dwindle away and be lost because of disinterest.
Something must be done to protect this as a historical landmark even though it is in England. We are concerned about the preservation of this Blackwall Marker and want to give it greater publicity, better exposure and easier access.
WFS member Keith Roberts of Henderson, N.C. did some probing, while on a recent trip to Britain, about this monument and reports he found little enthusiasm. He did develop some important contacts and will be working with the committee on this matter.