What We're Doing
Events, new research and new listings will mark out suffrage landmarks and celebrate 100 years since the first women were granted the right to vote.
Research and listing
Experts at Historic England have teamed up with academics from the University of Lincoln to research the sites that witnessed the struggle for suffrage. This research has informed updates and relisting of currently listed sites.
As esteemed and cherished buildings became sites of sabotage during protests, they gained new relevance. At the National Gallery, St Stephen’s Hall at Westminster, and the Orchid House at Kew Gardens, suffragettes were loudly saying that no tradition or location was off-limits to them. Indeed the foundations of the social order, represented by these sites, needed to be shaken.
Less well-known places
We will also focus on some of the less well-known places where working women, so often the unsung heroines of the suffrage movement, would meet to discuss the challenges of their daily lives, to plan and to organise. Many of these stories have been passed on by family members, in diaries or memorabilia that locate ordinary women right at the heart of the struggle.
Historic England announced in June the listed places that have been updated to recognise their link to women's suffrage and highlight the importance of the built environment in the suffrage protests.
Greater Manchester Histories Festival
Sunday 1 April - Saturday 30 June, Manchester
An exciting exhibition in Manchester Central Library shows the work of local primary and secondary school pupils who have explored the city’s unique and pioneering role in the campaign for suffrage a hundred years ago. The show will focus on the Pankhursts, Margaret Ashton and the many historic sites linked to the Suffrage movement in Manchester. This exhibition will be part of the Greater Manchester Histories Festival taking place in June.
Sunday 10 June, London
Historic England took part in Processions, a nationwide artwork which invited families, communities and organisations to create a banner reflecting on life as a woman in modern Britain. Working with the London College of Fashion and their 'Making for Change' programme, a group of former Holloway inmates collaborated with artist Lucy Orta to create a banner. This featured with the others in processions in four UK cities on 10 June.
Sites of Sabotage: a history of protest
Monday 11 June 2018 6.30 - 8pm, London
From burnt-down pillar boxes to powerful street art, this panel discussion explored the historic value of sites that have witnessed political and social protest. The panel debated this topic in light of Historic England’s Suffrage Centenary listings.
Prof Krista Cowman – Professor of History and Director of Research, University of Lincoln; author of Women in British politics, c. 1689-1979
Emily Gee – London Planning Director, Historic England
Stewy – artist, author of life size stencils of psycho-geographically placed British icons, such as Mary on the Green
Historic England partnered with the Royal Academy as part of the London Festival of Architecture to organise this exciting talk.