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.


The Story of Women through Buildings 1850 to 1950.

Women's Rights

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

Uses and Abuses of ‘Property’

Women's use of domestic space for political ends.

Mary Macarthur and the Sweated Industries

Working women fighting exploitation in the sweated industries.

Education for Life

The limited educational opportunities for working class girls.

Secondary schooling

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


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

The Fashion for Shopping

The contrasting experience of middle and working class women.

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.

New Markets

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

Housing - Pioneering

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

Women's Housing Association

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

Architects, Builders and Garden Cities

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

Gaining Recognition

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

Post-War Impact

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

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.

Celebrating Women Architects

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