Mary Macarthur addressing a crowd in Trafalgar Square about the Corruganza box factory strike in Tooting, London, 1908 © & source TUCLIB

Visible in Stone - Women and the built environment

Women's History through Buildings 1850-1950. A partnership project between English Heritage, The Women's Library and the TUC Library Collection at London Metropolitan University.

Researched and written by Dr Cheryl Law.

View of St Thomas’ Hospital across the river


The Story of Women through Buildings 1850 to 1950.

A view of the Houses of Parliament from Lambeth

Women's Rights

Women's personal and public struggles to gain equal rights.

Interior view of the hall in Gaskell House, taken from the staircase

Uses and Abuses of ‘Property’

Women's use of domestic space for political ends.

Two women assembling small boxes at a table in an unidentified house in the East End of London

Mary Macarthur and the Sweated Industries

Working women fighting exploitation in the sweated industries.

Restored Victorian schoolroom

Education for Life

The limited educational opportunities for working class girls.

Gym class at West Heath School for Young Ladies

Secondary schooling

The origins of secondary education for middle class girls to gain qualifications and improve their employment possibilities.

Aerial view of Girton College


The strategies women used in forging their own route to a university education.

A female shop worker operating a vacuum cleaner

The Fashion for Shopping

The contrasting experience of middle and working class women.

Detail of the signage for J Lyon's Throgmorton Restaurant and street lamp

Personal Freedom and Public Space

How women's freedom to move freely in public was linked to shopping and the development of women only spaces.

Suffragette with ‘Votes for Women’ banner

New Markets

Ways in which the WSPU's political action influenced department store policy and society's reaction against the New Woman's freedom.

St Christopher’s Place, Marylebone, City of Westminster

Housing - Pioneering

Octavia Hill developed a housing theory to tackle the blight of urban slums that influenced housing policy for a century.

View of house through front gate

Women's Housing Association

Women formed housing associations to tackle the problem of lack of accommodation for single working women.

Land girls during the First World War

Architects, Builders and Garden Cities

Despite official barriers to their training as architects women found many ways in which to participate in architectural projects.

Kensal House, Ladbroke Grove

Gaining Recognition

Before the Second World War women were gradually becoming involved as architects in the design of houses.

The Chantry, Mark Hall North, Harlow

Post-War Impact

In the post-war 1940s women architects were involved in some of the most progressive architectural developments in England.

Two people standing on the roof of Dorich House

About the Visible in Stone project

Women's History through Buildings 1850-1950 - partnership project between Historic England, The Women's Library and the TUC Library Collection at LMU.

Shakespeare Memorial Centre (now the Royal Shakespeare Theatre), Stratford-upon-Avon. 1929-32, by Elizabeth Scott.  Listed at Grade II*. NHLE List Entry Number: 1207396.

Celebrating Women Architects

Taking a look at women's contribution to the field of architecture.

Monument to Dame Henrietta Barnett, Central Square, Hampstead Garden Suburb