Heritage Open Days: 10-19 Sept. 2021 - what did you discover?!

Extraordinary Women blog posts

International travellers – pioneering women who worked at sea

From stewardesses who survived the Titanic, to the engineer who helped her ship out run an enemy plane. The remarkable lives of pioneering working women who went to sea during the first half of the 20th Century have been largely unrecorded until recently. 

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Nursing's Nightingales

Florence Nightingale helped set the bar for creating a professional nursing service. Her achievements were remarkable but of course she didn’t work alone; here’s a round up of some of the stories our festival community has connected to Florence and other nursing nightingales.

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Meddlesome (or Marvellous) Millie

Introducing: Millicent Fanny Sutherland Leveson Gower - she has a mouthful of a name, but my, what a life!

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Who’s that girl?

She illuminated a cathedral but until this year if you googled her name, you wouldn’t find much. A project we’re partnered with is helping to change that though.

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First 100 Years: celebrating the centenary of women in law

What's the first thing you notice in this picture? It was taken in 1982 at an event by an international law firm based in London, and its striking gender imbalance sparked a fantastic project looking at the history of women in the legal profession. 

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The First Feminist – 3 markers for Mary

Described as the original suffragette, author and free thinker Mary Wollstonecraft was a pioneer of women’s rights. She defied the norms of 18th century society, travelling Europe independently and arguing for women’s equal right to education and representation – definitely an ‘Extraordinary Woman’!

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Creativity Unleashed: Women Working in the Arts

This year’s festival theme is shining a spotlight on ‘Extraordinary Women’ - here are just some of the fantastic events taking part, highlighting some of the unsung stories of creative women in the arts.

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Travelling into the Unknown – Female Explorers and Adventurers

In an age when women were expected to stay home and tend to domestic life, this post looks at the Extraordinary Women who defied convention by exploring the world. From North America to the Middle East, the knowledge they brought back from their extensive travels helped develop the fields as diverse as history, science and even tourism itself.

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The March of the Women: Surrey’s Road to the Vote

Events in Surrey such as suffragette Emily Wilding Davison stepping out in front of the King’s horse at the Epsom Derby and suffering fatal injuries in 1913, and the suffragette bombing of a house being built for Chancellor of the Exchequer David Lloyd George at Walton on the Hill, are well known, but there are many more local stories to be found in the archives

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HerStories – telling the stories of the suffragettes through the National Heritage List

1918 represents a significant milestone in the campaign for women’s suffrage. To mark this important centenary Historic England worked with experts from Lincoln University to identify the buildings which tell the story of the struggle for women’s suffrage.

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Stepping out from the shadows: lesser-known suffrage champions

Pankhurst and Fawcett are names you’ve probably heard, at school, or in the media this week. But what about Ford, Smyth or Brown?

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Unseen but unceasing - Women in engineering

Women have been involved in engineering throughout history, but their role is often hard to define and see.

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