The Temperance Hotel and the Suffragist Movement

The bedroom of a Suffragist at Aberconwy House in Conwy

This year, the National Trust is collectively highlighting women's histories throughout Wales, England and Northern Ireland with our commemoration of Women and Power. Aberconwy House is marking its own small but important role in this history in 2018.

A small role to play

Across the country, some of the National Trust's special places have been marking 100 years since the passing of the Act which led to the vote for women.

Aberconwy House itself played a small but significant role in the suffragist movement of the late 19th Century and early 1900s.    It was during this period that Aberconwy House was operating as a Temperance Hotel.  Always a popular location with visiting ladies who were uncomfortable staying in the local inns of Conwy, the female guests enjoyed the more genteel welcome they received at the hotel.  The Temperance movement itself encouraged the 'reduction of the consumption of alcohol', which was a major factor in the hotel’s appeal to ladies who were travelling alone or in the company of other female travellers.

In May 1909, the Llandudno cell of the Suffragist Movement held a meeting in the rooms of the Aberconwy Temperance hotel to rally support for political equality for women in the local area.   The Suffragist and Suffragette movements were not popular in the local communities at this time, but the women who attended were defiant in their support of the ongoing struggle.

Commemorating 100 years since the passing of the Act

To commemorate the achievements and the role that these pioneering women played 100 years ago, the bedroom has been redressed as a Temperance hotel bedroom of a lady guest during this period.  Our volunteers have recreated a sash and hat, complete with ‘Votes for Women’ colours of purple, white and green.

A hand embroidered sash recreated by one of our talented volunteers
Detailed close up of the hand embroidered 'Votes for Women' sash in the bedroom
A hand embroidered sash recreated by one of our talented volunteers

Step back in time and visit a historic building whose own story played a small part in building hope and support amongst the women's Suffragist movement as they strived to secure votes for women and an essential step towards equality.