I Dare, I Dream, I Do

Trelissick House viewed from the river

2018 marks the centenary of women securing the right to vote in British politics. In light of this, the National Trust is running a year-long programme celebrating women’s legacies at our special places. At Trelissick we are telling the story of Ida Copeland MP whose social activism and philanthropy in the early-mid 20th Century made her one of the most remarkable owners of the estate.

Trelissick house is hosting a trio of exhibitions in 2018 displaying the creative work of a variety of artists and craftspeople to interpret the story of Ida Copeland as researched by staff and volunteers here. See below for dates and themes of each exhibition. 


‘I Dare’

Monday 16 April - Sunday 8 July 

11am-5pm in Trelissick house

Celebrating the 100th anniversary of women securing the vote, 'I Dare' tells the story of how, in 1931, the 'straightforward and modest' Ida Copeland defeated fascist Oswald Mosley to become MP for Stoke-on-Trent. A passionate believer in democracy, Ida wanted everyone to take part urging “every man and woman… to exercise their great privilege of voting”. The exhibition will showcase illustrations depicting Ida’s political campaign and career which was heavily focused on protecting worker’s rights and the security of British industry.

Ida Copeland (back row, second from right) and other female MPs at the Palace of Westminster, 1931
Ida Copeland and other female MPs at Westminster 1931

‘I Dream’

Wednesday 25 July - Sunday 2 September

11am-5pm in Trelissick house

Our second exhibition of the year will continue the story of Trelissick’s Ida Copeland. We explore the values and actions of the Girl Guide movement in its early days with attention to the instrumental part Ida played in its development.  Ida was great friends with the founders of the Scouts, the Baden-Powells, and spent a lot of her life supporting and promoting the Girl Guides. Trelissick often hosted gatherings of Guides and Scouts and we celebrate this legacy by providing insight into Ida’s contributions to this empowering movement. 

Ida Copeland wearing her Girl Guides uniform c1920
Ida Copeland dressed in her Girl Guiding attire c1920

‘I Do’

Sunday 16 September - Wednesday 31 Oct 

11am-5pm in Trelissick house

The final story being told at Trelissick is of Ida’s generosity and compassion. Learn how Ida donated her time, money and property in this intimate look into her philanthropic actions. One focus of this exhibition is her taking in of Julian Kulski – a Polish resistance fighter and former prisoner of war – after the Second World War. Suffering from malnutrition and PTSD he was invited by Ida to Trelissick to recover. This act and many others over the course of her life are revealed, culminating in the gifting of Trelissick itself to the National Trust in 1955.


We look forward to welcoming you to Trelissick to view these exhibitions. Normal admission charges apply. Free to members of the National Trust.