National Trust Autumn Season – Women and Power

Carmel Smickersgill, Tours & Activities Editor

This year, the National Trust have programmed a range of events celebrating the influential, inspirational and often forgotten women who lived and worked in historical sites of interest throughout the UK. In 2018 we’ve celebrated the centenary of the Representation of the People’s act which allowed some women and all men to vote. Events, exhibitions, on-site tours and new creative commissions have been taking place in properties with particular ties to the suffrage movement under the overarching theme of ‘Women and Power’. The season aims to explore the complexities of the roles power and gender have played in our history whilst giving a voice to the sometimes hidden lives and legacies of women who may have not made it into the history books. We have highlighted some of our picks from the current exhibitions and upcoming events from national trust properties for Autumn.

Reconnect with some of the North West’s most beautiful heritage sites and embrace these women’s stories. Discover a tree dripping with 300 ceramic bells based on the local folklore of native bluebells in the woodland surrounding Speke Hall. Or learn about the life of Adelaide Watt, the last owner of the hall who rerouted the plans for the Manchester ship canal as well as having a fascination with ‘pig courts’. Be transported back to 1918 in Dunham Massey’s Imagining Stamford Hospital exhibition. Archive photography and newly commisioned installations sit side by side, detailing the time during World War One, in which the house was temporarily a military hospital. Finally, be sure to visit Lyme where, as you walk around the house, you will be immersed in the trial of Ellen Turner’s abduction and her subsequent treatment in the press.

It’s an exciting autumn of previously unheard stories and exceptional women. The majority of events are free, however, usual admission charges to the properties still apply.

Here are our picks

  • 1. Serena Korda: The Bell Tree at Speke Hall

    Serena Korda: The Bell Tree at Speke Hall
    Photo by Chris Egon Searle

    Serena Korda: The Bell Tree at Speke Hall, Liverpool, 8 September 2018–28 July 2019, free entry - Visit now

    The Bell Tree by award winning contemporary artist Serena Korda responds to England’s alternative history of fairy-tale folklore, the ancient forest at Speke Hall and the legacy of hidden rebellion that surrounds the historic Tudor home.

  • 2. Stability and Survival at Speke Hall

    National Trust

    Stability and Survival at Speke Hall, Liverpool, 26 September 2018–29 March 2019, free entry - Visit now

    This autumn, learn about the inspiring life of Miss Adelaide Watt – an independent and powerful Victorian woman who fought the forces of modernity to preserve Speke Hall and all its treasures for generations to come.

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