Women and Power in the North East

2018 marks the centenary of a key victory in the struggle for suffrage which gave some women the right to vote. At Cragside and Gibside, we’re exploring the stories of women through exhibitions and art. We're also celebrating the women around the region who have made a real impact on the places we love and care for.

A portrait of Lady Armstrong

Pioneering women at Cragside 

Home to pioneering industrialist and inventor Lord Armstrong and his wife Lady Margaret Armstrong, Cragside is a feat of Victorian engineering. In 2018, it will become the backdrop to the stories and ideas of past, present and future female innovators, telling the stories through two new exhibitions. Discover the stories of some of the women who worked in Armstrong’s Elswick Works in the early twentieth century. Working with Newcastle University, we’re also exploring inspirational ideas and inventions of the future with young innovators within the male dominated world of STEM industries (science, technology, engineering and maths).

A portrait of Mary Eleanor Bowes

Celebrating women at Gibside 

The fascinating story of Mary Eleanor Bowes is being told through contemporary art at Gibside this summer, with two installations by Fiona Curran and Andrew Burton celebrating her life and love of botany. As the richest heiress in Georgian times, she triumphed in a divorce case against her abusive husband and paved the way for the reform of English divorce and custody laws.

The Gertrude Jekyll Garden near Lindisfarne Castle, Northumberland

The Gertrude Jekyll Garden at Lindisfarne Castle 

Arts and Crafts garden designer, writer and artist Gertrude Jekyll created this small walled garden in 1911 alongside English architect Edwin Lutyens: it still creates wonderful colour and scent every year, so a must see when visiting the castle which re-opens from Sunday 1 April.

The Souter Lighthouse, South Tyneside

Women at Souter Lighthouse 

The First World War saw many women having to step into the shoes of men who had gone to fight. In the industrial North East where women worked hard and played hard, Souter Lighthouse will be exploring how they spent their leisure time.