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What We're Doing

Events, new research and new listings will mark out suffrage landmarks and celebrate 100 years of the vote for women.

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Research and listings

Experts at Historic England have teamed up with academics from the University of Lincoln. Together we're researching the sites of sabotage which witnessed suffrage activity. This research will inform updates on currently listed sites as well as potentially create new listings.

Esteemed and cherished buildings

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

But 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 of the suffragettes, in diaries or memorabilia that locate ordinary women right at the heart of the struggle.

Listings

We hope to announce new listings in June. These new Historic England listings would be linked to women’s suffrage and will stress the importance of the built environment in the suffrage protests.

View of Big Ben and Westminster Palace
Palace of Westminster © Historic England

Events

Greater Manchester Histories Festival

Sunday 1 April - Saturday 30 June, Manchester

An exciting exhibition in Manchester Central Library will showcase 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.

Children in Manchester dress as Suffragettes and march to commemorate the Representation of the People Act
Children marched as sufragettes in preparation for the exhibition at Manchester library © Historic England

Processions

Sunday 10 June, London

Historic England is taking part in Processions, a nationwide artwork which invites 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 will collaborate with artist Lucy Orta to create a banner. This will feature with the others in processions in four UK cities on 10 June.

More event details

Banner with the wording 'HAMMERSMITH DEEDS NOT WORDS'
Hammersmith suffrage banner c.1910 Source Museum of London

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 will explore the historic value of sites that have witnessed political and social protest. The panel will debate this topic in light of Historic England’s upcoming Suffrage Centenary listings.

Book tickets

Speakers include:
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 is partnering with the Royal Academy as part of the London Festival of Architecture to organise this exciting talk.

Emmeling Pankhurst arrested for protesting in 1914
Mrs Emmeline Pankhurst, Leader of the Women's Suffragette movement, is arrested outside Buckingham Palace while trying to present a petition to King George V in May 1914.
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