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Public Statues and Sculpture Association

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 120 statues recorded in the database.

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    Dame Shirley Bassey, DBE (b.1937) is a Welsh singer with a powerful and expressive voice, who has recorded soundtrack theme songs for three James Bond films. In 1977 she received the BRIT Award for the Best British Solo Artist in the previous 25 years. A 20 foot-high golden statue with a hole where the heart should be, which the artist says symbolises the need for art to flourish. Titled Bassey’s Cry or Bloedd Bassey, the statue made from polystyrene, fibreglass and body filler was unveiled in April 2016.

    Sculptor: Marc Rees

    Location: Caernarfon Castle, Wales.

    Dame Margaret Beckett, DBE (b.1943), Labour party politician, MP for Derbyshire since 1983 and briefly interim Leader 1992-94. The bronze portrait bust was unveiled in 2007. It forms part of the sculptor’s series,’Women who have made a difference.’

    Sculptor: Shenda Amery (b.1937)

    Location: Recepton Area, Universal Skills Suite, University of Derby.

    Dr Erinma Bell

    Photo: Karen Lyons

    Dr Erinma Bell MBE (b.1965), anti-violence campaigner recognised for her work tackling gun crime in Moss Side and Longsight, Manchester. With her husband she set up CARISMA (Community Alliance for Renewal, Inner South Manchester) now part of Chrysalis, which gives young people other options than street and gun crime. The portrait bust was cast from metal recycled from 50 guns obtained by the Greater Manchester Police, it was unveiled in 2017. Her portrait bust is the first-ever sculpture of a woman in Manchester Town Hall.

    Sculptor: Karen Lyons (b.1958)

    Location: Manchester Town Hall (temporarily housed in Manchester Central Library, while the Town Hall is refurbished).

    Floella Benjamin

    Photo: University of Exeter, Fine Art Collection

    Floella Benjamin, Baroness Benjamin, DBE (b.1949), Trinidadian-British television presenter, author and politician. The University of Exeter  commemorated her successful tenure as Chancellor with this portrait bust. Benjamin said: ‘I am delighted that my 10 fantastic years as Chancellor of the University of Exeter will be celebrated with this wonderful sculpture… .’ The bronze sculpture was unveiled at a special ceremony on the Streatham Campus in February 2017.

    Sculptor: Luke Shepherd (b.1961)

    Location: Exeter University, Devon.

    Cilla Black

    Photo: Rodhullandemu Wikimedia Commons

    Cilla Black (1943-2015), singer and television presenter. This bronze statue is sited outside the Cavern Club in Liverpool, where she used to perform. It was unveiled in 2017.

    Sculptors: Andy Edwards (b.1964) and Emma Rodgers (b.1974)

    Location: Outside the Cavern Club, Mathew Street, Liverpool.

    Catherine Booth

    Photo: Denmark Hill, London

    Catherine Booth (1829-1890), co-founder of the Salvation Army with her husband William . The bronze statue, signed Geo. Wade, was dedicated on 8 July 1929. There is a later identical cast (2015) on Mile End Road, London.

    Sculptor: George Edward Wade (1853-1933)

    Location: Outside William Booth College, Champion Park, Denmark Hill, London SE5.

    Catherine Booth

    Photo: Creative Commons CC By-SA4.0

    Catherine Booth (1829-1890), co-founder of the Salvation Army with her husband William. This bronze cast of the statue of Booth in Denmark Hill was donated by the women of the US Salvation Army to mark the Army’s 150th anniversary.

    Sculptor: George Edward Wade (1853-1933)

    Location: Mile End Road, London E1.

    Catherine Booth (1829-1890) , co-founder of the Salvation Army with her husband William. This bronze bust was unveiled on Easter Sunday 1962. Booth was born in Ashbourne.

    Sculptor: unknown

    Location: War Memorial Gardens, Ashbourne, Derbyshire.

    Mrs Sophie Booth

    Photo: Copyright Keith Edkins

    Mrs Sophie Booth (‘The Shell Lady’), artist and seaside landlady of the painter JMW Turner (1775-1851). This bronze statue, entitled, Mrs Booth, was unveiled in 2008.

    Sculptor: Ann Carrington

    Location: The Harbour Arm, Old Town, Margate, Kent.

    Betty Boothroyd (b.1929) was MP for West Bromwich and West Bromwich West 1973-2000. The only woman to have been Speaker of the House of Commons. In 1994, she was appointed as the first woman Chancellor of the Open University (OU), she retired in 2006. The bronze portrait was commissioned by the OU in 2001 and forms part of the sculptor’s series, ‘Women who have made a difference’.

    Sculptor: Shenda Amery (b.1937)

    Location: Open University's main reception, University Walton Hill Campus, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire.