MoSaF London provides guided walks through Deptford’s streets to tell the storey of Britain’s involvement in the slave trade and the fight for freedom. The walks take you through one of London’s oldest neighbourhoods. You can hear the echoes of our hundreds of years of history as you travel through our lanes and along the shoreline. The walks are based on specially commissioned academic research into Deptford’s history. The first ship involved in Britain’s triangular trade sailed from here. Major figures in the fight for abolition were here too. Come with us and find out more.

Students from Channing School,Highgate, London speak about their visit to MoSaF London on 22 June 2022.

On Wednesday, a group of us were lucky enough to go on the museum of Slavery and Freedom’s walking tour of Deptford, exploring the forgotten relationship the area has with the slave trade. The tour covered a variety of history including well-known figures such as Olaudah Equiano, a former slave turned leading abolitionist, who was sold from Deptford strand, as well as the famous diarist John Evelyn, a Deptford resident who profited of the slave trade due to his shares in the Royal African Company and his involvement in the management of the Caribbean slave plantation system. However, we also learnt about other elements of the slave trade that are less known and for the majority of us it was our first-time hearing about it. For example, we heard about how local churches such as St Nicholas’s church ended up putting money into and profiting off of the slave trade, and at the King’s Yard we found out about the Royal Navy’s involvement in protecting and conveying slave ships.

The tour was a unique opportunity to explore local history that has been hidden and forgotten about for years, and it made us look at our own local history, considering whether the history of the places we live in also have those same deep connections to slavery that Deptford has. We are incredibly thankful to MoSaF, especially our guides Judith Hibbert (Channing’s Catering Manager) and Sue Davis, for the tour and we would urge everyone to go visit Deptford and go on the tour.

Anika A, Year 12