Votes for women?

2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the Representation of the People Act, which empowered some women by giving them the right to vote in British parliamentary elections. The centenary is being celebrated in 2018 across the National Trust through its Women and Power programme. Killerton is playing a major role in telling the story of the campaign for women’s suffrage.

Votes for Women? a new exhibition in the house until Sunday 4 November.

An intriguing suffrage story has been unearthed involving the Acland family which forms the core of the new exhibition in the house. The Aclands were a family divided over the question of women’s suffrage as Eleanor Acland was a leading suffragist campaigner in direct political opposition to her anti-suffragist Aunt Gertrude.

Suffrage:The right to vote in political elections
Suffragist: A person using constitutional and lawful means to campaign for the extension of suffrage, especially to women.
Suffragette: Originally a derogatory term coined by the popular press to describe women who adopted militant and sometimes unlawful means to campaign for women’s suffrage.
Anti-suffragist: Men and women who campaigned against the extension of suffrage to women.

Follow Eleanor and Gertrude’s stories through the downstairs discovering how music and games were used for political campaigns, strike up a tune on the piano with 'The March of the Women' written to support the suffrage campaign or get the family together and play 'Pankasquith' around the table.

Get warm and cosy and play a game or two.
The fire lit in the Music room.
Get warm and cosy and play a game or two.

View the Grillion drawings and see which parlimentry figures were in support of women's suffrage.

See if you are on the guest list for Gertrude's Anti-Suffrage garden party hosted at Killerton.

Read the letters written between Eleanor and Christabel Pankhurst in which she was critical of the suffragettes’ violent tactics, fearing they would undermine the suffragists’ lawful campaign.

Suffragette versus Suffragist
Quotes displayed on a bookshelf
Suffragette versus Suffragist

Head into the dining room and imagine the conversations that must have been had round the table of this political family.

A political debate at dinner?
Dining room with place settings
A political debate at dinner?

At the end of your visit don't forget to cast your vote on the question of the month in the polling booths, and check our social media for the results at the end of the month.

If you’ve got an opinion you can’t keep to yourself then head into the garden and make use of the soapbox.

Fashion is back on the first floor, see what is being exhibited.

Look out for details on the partnership exhibition with National Portait Gallery, 'Faces of Change: Votes for Women' opening in August 2018.

Staff in a photoshoot

Suffragette photoshoot

Marking 100 years of some women getting the vote.

Choir in front of the house

Bringing Killerton to life with our community

As part of the story at Killerton this year we have been working closely with local community groups to bring to life Gertrude, Eleanor and the suffrage story.

Women who fought for suffrage

Women and Power: Exploring women’s history at our places 

Explore the lives of those who fought for and against women's suffrage as we mark 100 years since some women were granted the right to vote. Uncover the previously untold stories of the women who helped shape our places with exhibitions, art installations, podcasts and more.