Telling Her Story: Women’s History, Heritage and the Built Environment

TELLING HER STORY: WOMEN’S HISTORY, HERITAGE AND THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT
Wrest Park, Bedfordshire
Monday 19th March 2018, 9:30am – 5:00pm

Tickets are available by calling our dedicated ticket sales team on +44(0) 370 333 1183
Tickets: £30 (a limited number of free tickets for students/ unwaged are available)*

‘Telling Her Story’ will bring together heritage professionals and academics to explore the diverse roles and experiences of women at historic sites. Whether in country houses or castles, women have played a pivotal role in shaping the built environment and in influencing the course of history. Yet, more often than not, their voices are marginalised or missing from the historical record and from interpretation at heritage sites.

This conference seeks to uncover the many and varied experiences of women at historic properties in the care of English Heritage and other heritage organisations. It aims to move beyond stock biographies of famous and extraordinary women to discover the many diverse stories of women from all walks of life, to offer new perspectives on better-known individuals and to critique narratives and interpretations which continue to be constructed principally around the experiences of men.

Conference Programme 

9:30 COFFEE
10:00 Welcome and Introduction

CASTLES AND WARFARE
10:10 Writing medieval women back into castle narratives
Rachel Delman, University of Oxford
10:30 Outside the can(n)on: telling inclusive stories of the medieval past
Karen Dempsey, University of Reading
10:50 Anne Clifford’s transformation of Westmorland through the construction of households
Jessica Malay, University of Huddersfield
11:20 Remembering resistance: female activism during the English Civil Wars
Emma Turnbull, University of Oxford
11:40 Discussion

SILENT VOICES
10:10 The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? New interpretations of women at Lincoln Castle Victorian Prison
Helen Bates, University of Leicester
10:30 An alternative focus for industrial heritage: women’s lives in Elsecar circa 1780-1870
Nigel Cavanagh, Network Archaeology
10:50 Capturing the invisible? Photography and female domestic servants in the country house, 1850-1920
Kate O’Neill, RCA/ V&A
11:20 Demeter’s daughters: the representation of women within a vineyard landscape
Elena Settimini, University of Leicester
11:40 Discussion

12:00 LUNCH

18th CENTURY FEMALE PATRONAGE
1:00 Beyond the withdrawing room: exploring notions of gendered spaces in the eighteenth-century country house
Ruth Larsen, University of Derby
1:20 Revealing women’s stories through mural painting, 1680-1720
Lydia Hamlett, University of Cambridge
1:40 Female architectural patronage in eighteenth-century Britain
Amy Boyington, University of Cambridge
2:00 Discussion

WRITTEN OUT OF HISTORY
1:00 Mrs. Bowes’s mansion, museum and galleries’: Joséphine Bowes and The Bowes Museum
Judith Phillips, Bowes Museum/ Teesside University
1:20 Observatory life: adding domestic history and female voices to the story of the Royal Observatory
Louise Devoy, Royal Observatory, Greenwich
1:40 Toynbee Hall: mother of settlements
Eleanor Sier, Toynbee Hall, Kate Bradley, University of Kent and Lucinda Matthews-Jones, Liverpool John Moores University
2:00 Discussion

2:15 COFFEE

CONNECTING PEOPLE, SPACE AND PLACE
2:30 Gender and the hidden histories of English landed estates
Hannah Worthen, University of Hull
2:50 The impact of heiresses on the Montagu property network, c. 1749-1827
Emma Purcell, University of Leicester
3:10 Housekeeper, correspondent and confidante: the under-told story of Mrs Hayes of Charlecote Park, c.1740-60
Jon Stobart, Manchester Metropolitan University
3:30 Discussion

HERITAGE INDUSTRY APPROACHES
2:30 Challenging histories: women and power
Rachael Lennon, National Trust
2:50 Telling their stories: from warriors to witches, and everything in between
Morvern French and Stefan Sagrott, Historic Environment Scotland
3:10 Telling the story of England: women’s history at English Heritage
Megan Leyland, English Heritage
3:30 Discussion

4:00– 5:00 Closing Discussion / Tour

EXHIBITIONS AND POSTERS
Exhibition material on display throughout the conference includes The women of Wrest Park (the Wrest Park Volunteer History Group, English Heritage), Uncovering women’s voices in the Richmond Castle cell block (the Richmond Castle Cell Block Project volunteers, English Heritage) and Marble Hill Revived (English Heritage) as well as academic posters.

(Please note, this programme is subject to change)

Organisers:

This conference is being jointly organised by English Heritage and the University of Leicester, and has been generously supported by the Women’s History Network Small Grant Scheme.

Dr. Megan Leyland (English Heritage), Prof. Roey Sweet (University of Leicester), Dr. Andrew Roberts (English Heritage).

* To apply for these tickets please contact megan.leyland@english-heritage.org.uk with why the conference is relevant to
your research, interests or work. Tickets will be allocated on a first come first serve basis.

© National Portrait Gallery/ Historic England/ London Metropolitan Archives