Over 100 public statues of women can be found in the UK. On the occasion of International Women’s Day, 8 March 2021, the PSSA launched a database of these multifarious sculptures representing women of achievement from past and present. The database includes many well-known figures with a range of attainments: nurses such as Edith Cavell, Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole, the pilot Amy Johnson, writers such as Jane Austen, Virginia Woolf and George Eliot, performers such as Gracie Fields, Margot Fonteyn, Amy Winehouse and Victoria Wood, activists such as Mary Barbour, Millicent Fawcett and Emmeline Pankhurst, and countless others. These exceptional women lived full and extraordinary lives. The sculptures embody their achievements for posterity, works of art in bronze or stone to commemorate them and further our understanding of their contributions to our own lives and history. The database excludes royal personages, as well as mythological or allegorical female figures, which are in a different category from these representations of people whose successes stemmed from their own endeavours.
We would welcome contributions to the database, if you know of any other statues of women not included here, or if you wish to add information, such as further dates, about the statues on the list. Please use the form to the right. We are aware this is an evolving resource which will expand as time goes on.
There are 112 statues recorded in the database.
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Photo: Æthelred, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Lady Wulfrun (d.after 994) was an Anglo-Saxon noble woman and landowner with several estates in Staffordshire. She was granted a charter for Hēatūn, Anglo-Saxon for ‘high or prinicpal farm of enclosure’ by Aethelred II (Aethelred the Unready) in 985. She endowed a collegiate church there in 994, which is the site of St Peter’s Church where this bronze statue stands. It was erected in 1974 to celebrate the centenary of the Express and Star Newspaper. Lady Wulfrun is depicted holding the charter, a scroll with a large seal attached, which granted land to the monastery at Hēatūn. An extract from the charter is inscised into the steps below. After this generous donation, the town took on the name of its benefactor and became known as ‘Wulfrun Heantun, By 1070 it was known as Wolverenehamptonia, which is now the city of Wolverhampton. Lady Wulfrum is therefore regarded as the founder of Wolverhampton.
Sculptor: Sir Charles Wheeler KCVO CBE PRA (1892 –1974)
Location: St Peter's Church, Wolverhampton, West Midlands.
Photo: SkymasterUK Wikimedia Commons
Charlotte Mary Yonge (1823-1901), novelist, editor, biographer, essayist, journalist and writer of textbooks, whose work spread the influence of the Oxford Movement. She lived in Otterbourne, near Eastleigh (the parish which she named) all her life. Her statue, in bronze resin, seated on bench was unveiled in 2015.
Sculptor: Vivien Mallock (b. 1945)
Location: Eastleigh, Hants.