"Aren't we worthy?" part of Women and Power
A century on from women achieving the vote, we're exploring the stories and impact of women and their influence on the gardens at Stowe. Throughout the year, help us choose great British women to sit in our modern day Temple of British Worthies, vote for your worthy women and return in autumn to see who was chosen.
A new point of view
We're asking you to help us shape a new point of view on the Temple of British Worthies. Originally designed in 1735, it has 16 busts of notable characters that Lord Cobham believed deserved commemoration, representing eight men of ideas, seven men and one woman of action. When you look along the line of famous faces you'll spot one thing, 15 are male and only 1 is a female, Elizabeth I.
A visitor recently posed a question about female roles within the temple "Are we not worthy?", which has sparked debate amongst our team. In the year of Vote100, we're taking the opportunity to create a twenty-first century point of view on the Worthies.
We're looking to create an installation in the garden, shaped by our visitors to Stowe, supporters online, colleagues and contemporaries alongside our local community to result in 16 new representations of British Worthies, 15 female and one male.
" Worthy: a person notable or important in a particular sphere. Synonyms: dignitary, notable, nobility, celebrity, personage, famous person, person of note, pillar of society, leading light, somebody, informal VIP. "
Nominations are open!
Throughout March, the nomination round will be open. Visitors will be able to suggest nominations for who could be represented as a British Worthy via a ballot box at the New Inn Visitor Centre, polls on Twitter and Facebook, alongside email submissions. From the many nominations we'll whittle them down to smaller groups to open a vote to make the final decision on who you now consider being a Worthy. We'll be reaching out wide to local community groups help make suggestions, so make your voice is heard.
Have your say
The gardens at Stowe have hidden meanings from the classics to politics and poetry, relating these topics to famous people throughout the statuary. But who inspires you and deserves to sit amongst those none as a Worthy?
In the ballot box
Now you've filled in your nomination form, pop it in the virtual ballot box to be counted. Nominations close soon so don't miss the chance to stand up for your heroine.
Going to the polls
Voting polls will open 1 May to 30 June for you decide who will be honoured as a Worthy. You'll be able to cast your vote with a token at New Inn, on facebook, twitter and email. Our team will also be out and about in shopping centres and at local community events for you to have your say.
And the results are in
Once we've collated and annouced the results to reveal a new set of Worthies, we'll start the process of creating an installation. Each new Worthy will be created by 7 local community groups and the team at Stowe to be ready to displayed to the public in the gardens from 10 September to 9 November.
Women of Stowe
Throughout 2018, we'll be weaving stories of the women of Stowe throughout your visit. The gardens were designed to demonstrate male power and influence on politics, but behind the facade lay influences of female vice and virtue, admired members of roaylty and muses. Look amongst the gardens and there are females around every corner, in the temples and trails designed by Lord Cobham to enlighten his visitors.
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Through the lens
A photographer's dream, it's easy to find an inspiring view when you visit Stowe. From monumental temples to nature's beauty, share your snaps with us.