Celebrating Women and Power
During 2018 the National Trust is celebrating the anniversary of female suffrage. It’s 100 years since women fought for, and won the right for some women to vote in a British Parliamentary election.
We're marking the centenary of this step forward in equal rights by exploring women’s history and one woman in particular who played a huge part in Gibside's history.
As the richest heiress and Gibside's resident for a time, Mary Eleanor Bowes played an integral role in our history.
Mary Eleanor was bestowed an education by her father, coal baron George Bowes - unheard of during that time - and with a passion for botany she went on to pioneer botany expeditions and more.
She went on to marry the 9th Earl of Strathmore creating the Bowes-Lyon name. Later, she was tricked into a second marriage by Andrew 'Stoney' Robinson and a chaotic life. Ultimately, she became triumphant in a divorce case against her abusive husband and paved the way for the reform of English divorce and custody laws.