Wall of Women

This ‘Wall of Women’ visualises just some of the hundreds, if not thousands, of Extraordinary Women who were celebrated as part of Heritage Open Days 2018. These images have been collated from women featured in some of this year’s incredible events, as well as direct suggestions by members of the public.

Behind each of these women lies an incredible story. From racing driver, Violette Cordery, who broke multiple long distance records, to public health advocate, Kitty Wilkinson, who saved many from cholera, these women have inspired, amazed and surprised us.

The blank portraits represent the many women for whom we have been unable to find an easily-accessible image, which in itself speaks volumes about how frequently the achievements of women have been overlooked, both in the past and the present.

Click here to download a poster of our Wall of Women

Who is featured?

Click here to download the key to who's who

In the list below we've added a link to their Wikipedia entry where it exists to help you find out more. But if you know more about these Extraordinary Women you can update their entries, and create them for those that are currently missing - we'll be running some wikithons to help do just this!

  • Ada Lovelace (1815-1852) Mathematician and writer 
  • Adelaide Lucy Fenton (1824/5-1897) Philatelist and writer
  • Agatha Christie (1890-1976) Novelist
  • Alice Liddell (1852-1934)
  • Ailsa Gaskill-Jones, Town Councillor, chair of 'Wellbeing Winsford'
  • Alison Uttley (1884-1976) Children's writer
  • Amy Buller (1891-1974) Writer of 'Darkness over Germany'
  • Amy Johnson (1903-1941) Pioneering aviator - first female pilot to fly solo from Britain to Australia
  • Angela Burdett-Coutts (1814-1906) Baroness - first woman to be honoured with the title in her own right
  • Anita Lonsbrough Olympic swimmer
  • Ann Ayre Hely (1819-1902) Nurse
  • Anna Barbauld (1743-1825) Writer
  • Anna Jackson, Wheelchair Basketball Paralympian, Life coach and Mentor
  • Anne Knight (1786-1862) Social reformer
  • Anne Lister (1791-1840) Diarist and explorer, often called the 'first modern lesbian'
  • Anna Sewell (1820-1878) Writer of 'Black Beauty'
  • Annie Bindon Carter (1883–1969) Business entrepreneur
  • Annie Brassey (1839-1887) Travel writer
  • April Ashley Social campaigner and model
  • Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993) Actress and fashion icon
  • Avril Coleridge-Taylor (1903-1998) Pianist, conductor and composer
  • Barbara Robb (1912-1976) Psychotherapist and campaigner for care for the elderly
  • Beatrice Shilling (1909-1990) Engineer and motor racer, invented crucial piece of aviation machinery
  • Beatrix Potter (1866-1943) Writer, illustrator and conservationist
  • Boudicca (c.30AD-c.60AD) Queen of an Ancient British tribe
  • Caroline Ganley (1879-1966) Labour Co-operative Party politician
  • Caroline Herschel (1750-1848) Astronomer - first woman to be awarded a Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society
  • Cartimandua (c.43AD-c.69AD) Queen of an Ancient British tribe
  • Catharine Cappe (1744-1821) Writer, diarist and philanthropist
  • Catherine Booth (1829-1890) Co-founder of the Salvation Army
  • Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855) Writer of Jane Eyre
  • Charlotte Despard (1844-1939) Suffragist, socialist, pacifist 
  • Charlotte Mary Yonge (1823-1901) Novelist
  • Chloe Gambia (?-1838) Slave girl who became housekeeper at Aston Estate
  • Dame Agnes Hunt (1866-1948) Nurse
  • Dame Jenni Murray, Journalist and broadcaster
  • Delia Derbyshire (1937-2001) Pioneering musician - composed the original theme tune to Doctor Who
  • Diana, Princess of Wales (1961-1997)
  • Dick, Kerr’s Ladies (1917-1965) Women's football team
  • Dora Gordine (1895-1991) Sculptor
  • Dora Thewlis (1890–1976) Suffragette
  • Dorothea Beale (1831-1906) Suffragist and educational reformer
  • Dorothy Wordsworth (1771-1855) Writer
  • Edith Pretty (1883–1942) Landowner who donated the Sutton Hoo finds to the nation
  • Edith Fildes, Local Campaigner
  • Edith Morley (1875–1964) Literary scholar and activist
  • Edith Rigby (1872 – 1948)  Suffragette
  • Edna Critchley, Founder of Critchley House
  • Eliza Shirley (1863-1932) Salvation Army pioneer
  • Elizabeth Atkins (?-1892)
  • Elizabeth Cavendish (1926-2018) 
  • Elizabeth Garrett Anderson (1836-1917) First woman to qualify in Britain as a physician and surgeon, be elected to a school board, become a Mayor and magistrate
  • Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-1865) Novelist
  • Elizabeth Read (1807-1883) Social reformer and abolitionist. Established a Sunday school for the local children at Wincobank Hall
  • Elizabeth Woodville (1437-1492) Queen consort of Edward IV - first 'commoner' consort to be crowned queen
  • Emilie Montgomerie Gardner (?-1959) Suffragette and champion for milling heritage
  • Emmeline Pankhurst (1858-1928) Leader of British Suffragist campaign
  • Enid Marx (1902-1998) Painter and designer
  • Ethel Colman (1863-1948) First female Lord Mayor in England
  • Ethel Haythornthwaite (1894 - 1986) Founder of the Sheffield branch of the CPRE
  • Ethel Smyth (1858-1944) Suffragette and first female composer to be awarded a damehood
  • Ethelfleda
  • Eunice Murray (1878-1960) Suffrage campaigner and author
  • Evangeline Booth (1865-1950) Theologist and first woman General of the Salvation Army
  • Fanny Eaton (1835-1924) Model 
  • Fanny Legge
  • Flora Twort (1893-1985) Painter
  • Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) Social reformer and founder of modern nursing
  • Frida Mond (1847-1923) Patron of the arts, particularly the British Academy in its early years
  • Grace Darling (1815-1842) Heroine of Forfarshire  shipwreck
  • Hannah More (1745-1833) Writer and philanthropist
  • Harriet Martineau (1802-1876) Writer and sociologist
  • Hilda Leyel (1880-1957) Herbalist
  • Hilda Wicksteed, One of the founders of Wicksteed Park
  • Infanta Maria Francisca
  • Isabella Beeton (1836-1865) Writer of 'Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management'
  • Isabella Burleigh
  • J.K Rowling, Novelist
  • Jane Austen (1775-1817) Novelist
  • Joan 'Grog' Arundel (?-2018) WAAF at Bentley Priory
  • Joan of England / Joanna of Sicily (1165-1199)
  • Josephine Butler (1828-1906) Social reformer
  • Joyce Frankland (1531 - 1587) English philanthropist
  • Juliet Wheldon, First British woman to serve as Treasury Solicitor and Head of the Government Legal Service
  • Jung Chang, Best-selling writer of Wild Swans
  • Kate Blakemore, CEO for Motherwell Cheshire
  • Kate Harvey (1862-1946) Suffragist
  • Kate Holt, Photojournalist
  • Kate Orchard, WAAF at Bentley Priory
  • Kitty Wilkinson (1786-1860) Social reformer
  • Lady Constance Lytton (1869-1923) Suffragette
  • Lady Godiva (990AD-c. 1067AD)
  • Lady Emma Hamilton (1765-1815) Model, actress, muse
  • Lady Jane Grey (c.1537-1554)
  • Lilian Baylis (1874-1937) Theatrical producer and manager
  • Linda Rowley, Founder of the Scarborough Maritime Heritage Centre
  • Lydia Yavorska, Princess Bariatinsky (1874-1921) Actress and suffragette
  • Mabel Clarkson (1875-1950) Mayor of Norwich and Justice of the Peace
  • Malala Yousafzai, Activist for female education and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate
  • Margaret and Mary Baker (1890 - ?) - Childrens author & illustrators
  • Margaret Harker (1920-2013) Photographer and historian 
  • Margaret Hughes (c.1630-1719) First professional actress of the English stage
  • Margaret McCann
  • Mary Anne Rawson (1801-1887) Social campaigner especially for the abolition of slavery
  • Mary Anne Atwood (1817-1910) Writer
  • Mary Blamires (1868-1944) Mayoress of Huddersfield
  • Mary Butterwick, Founder of the Butterwick Hospice
  • Mary Kingsley (1862-1900) Explorer and ethnographer
  • Mary Sargant Florence (1857-1954) Painter and suffragist
  • Mary Seacole, (1805-1881) Businesswoman and nurse
  • Mary Shelley (1797-1851) Best-selling writer of Frankenstein
  • Mary Sumner (1828-1921) Founder of the Mothers' Union
  • Mary Sykes (1896-1981) Solicitor
  • Mary Victor Bruce (1895-1990) Record-breaking racing motorist, speedboat racer, aviator
  • Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) Pioneering feminist writer
  • Maude Dominica Petre (1863-1942) Nun, writer, critic
  • May Yohe (1866-1938) Actress
  • Millicent Fawcett (1847-1929) Leading suffragist, President of the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies 
  • Nancy Astor (1879-1964) First woman to sit as a member of Parliament
  • Octavia Hill (1838-1912) Social reformer, co-founder of the National Trust
  • Princess Marie Louise (1872-1956)
  • Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603)
  • Rachel Campbell Childminder
  • Rosalind Franklin, (1920-1958) Scientist whose Photo 51 led to the discovery of DNA's structure
  • Sara Bull (1850-1911) Philanthropist
  • Shipyard Women of Goole
  • Sister Dora (1832-1878) Nurse
  • Arabella Furnell (1872 - 1919) Linguist
  • Sophia Fry (1837-1897) Founder of the Women's Liberal Federation
  • Sophie Osborne, Actress and writer
  • Stacey Heale, Writer and creator of Beneath the Weather
  • Susi Osborne, Novelist and organiser of the Northwich Literature Festival
  • Sybil Spencer (1908 - 1994) Plantswoman
  • Thirza Cove, Suffragette
  • Violette Cordery (1900-1983) Racing driver and long distance record breaker
  • Violette Szabo (1921-1945) Special agent in France during WWII
  • Women of Steel (1914-1945) Sheffield steel industry workers during the wars
  • Women on the railways 
  • Zaha Hadid, (1950-2016) Architect