Marcus joins us as House & Operations Manager from Apsley House, home to the Duke of Wellington. He as always worked in heritage, starting at the Tank Museum Bovington, he joined HMS Warrior 1860 after finishing a Masters Degree at Portsmouth University. From there he worked in the Events Management team for the National Museum of the Royal Navy. 

Currently he lives in Kent, with his partner Katie, awaiting their new puppy. In his spare time he is in the Army Reserves, where he used to drive tanks, but now teaches recruits in London, between that he is a podcaster on History Hack and is currently commissioned to write a book on Crossing the Douro, one of the Duke of Wellington’s great victories. Marcus really looks forward to meeting the local community, welcoming the volunteers back and opening the house for visits as well as special events, in the near future.

Q- Marcus, we are so delighted to welcome you to West Horsley Place. What made you want to join the team?

A- I had happily been following the story of West Horsley Place for some time, I’m fascinated by history, heritage projects and historic houses, when I saw this opportunity, I knew it fitted my experience and interests perfectly! I really want to make a positive impact, improving the visitor experience, helping develop new events and working with the closely knit team to improve the site for generations to come

A- What was your first visit here like?

Q- I had walked some of the estate before my interview but didn’t stray off the footpaths. My first proper visit was my interview, a beautiful snow-covered ground, like a crisp white carpet across the garden. Inside was a film set, I still can’t get over the fake “holes” in the ceiling, giving a dilapidated effect. Other than that, the welcome itself was incredibly warm, the Manor House teeming with history, it was an excellent start.

A- It's a very different property to Apsley house- what new challenges are you anticipating?

Q- Yes really different, especially the beautiful location in the estate nestled among the villages, a change to the busy traffic on Hyde Park Corner. Apsley House had many of the same challenges that a historic building brings (I’m sadly familiar with broken lifts and boilers that won’t work), but West Horsley Place needs a lot more love, which is great, it has a journey ahead of itself too. There are some parts of the puzzle that are not quite missing, but in development, it’ll be fantastic to see these put into place.

Q- What are you looking forward to most?

A- Probably this summer, the gardens and fields alive with flowers and being able to open the House to visitors, the newly refurbished Place Farm Barn to weddings and developing some special events to bring the history alive.

Q- As a historian yourself- are there any particular stories in WHP's past that you are excited to explore?

A- I’m very early in the stage of writing a book on one the Duke of Wellington’s early victories, but I will park that amazing man and am looking forward to really looking at a few more, the Guido Fawkes connection fascinates me, to see both sides of his story, a hero or a villain? Along with Bess Raleigh, all the connections to the intrigue of court. Them and peaking behind the scenes, the lives of servants and staff who worked here sounds really interesting.

Q- What is your favourite room/space at WHP and why?

A- Wow, how to choose from so many, at the moment I’m really enjoying the gardens as they start to thrive,  and the newly refurbished Place Farm Barn is truly amazing- ready for arts & community events, weddings and more.

Q- What talent would you most like to possess?

A- I have absolutely zero musical or artistic talent, so that would be nice as I enjoy watching and listening to performances, or maybe a superpower to see into the past?

Q-What inspires you?

A- People who go above and beyond, putting in extra effort due to their passion for their profession or chosen area, I think seeing people working as paramedics or police; it astonishes me what they have to deal with on a daily basis, if they can do such an amazing job, we can all raise our standards.

Q- In another life, who would you have been?

A- I feel like I almost have to say part of Wellington’s Army, saving Portugal and Spain… but in realistic terms, having worked in historic houses, with a love of tradition or etiquette I probably would have liked to have worked in a grand house, maybe a coachman to get fresh air and work with animals, if not, then I think I’d have been a good butler.

Q- What makes you most excited in WHPT's vision for the future?

A- WHP is growing and improving so much, even in the 3 weeks I have been here I have seen amazing plans, which people really want to achieve, and I think we will. That is why I am here, I love making things happen, together as a team and community I think there will be a really exciting few years ahead.