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 115 statues recorded in the database.
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Photo: Kiran Parmar Wikimedia Commons
Alice Hawkins (1863-1946), major figure in the Leicestershire Suffrage Society. This bronze statue was unveiled in 2018.
Sculptor: Sean Hedges-Quinn (b.1968)
Location: Green Dragon Square, Leicester.
Photo: Ciaran Roarty Wikimedia Commons
Dolores Ibarruri (1895-1989), activist, who fought for the Republican cause against Franco in the Spanish Civil War 1936-39. She was known as ‘La Pasionaria’, (the Passionflower). Commissioned by the International Brigade Association of Scotland as a memorial to the 2,100 British volunteers who fought for the Republican cause in the Spanish Civil War. The memorial has an inscription dedicated to the 534 volunteers who died, 65 of whom were from Glasgow. The plinth bears Ibarruri’s slogan ‘better to die on your feet than live forever on your knees.’ Erected in 1979, the statue was created from scrap iron and fibreglass and fell into disrepair, it was restored in 2010.
Sculptor: Arthur Dooley (1929-1994)
Location: On the banks of the Clyde between Jamaica Street and Howard Street, Glasgow, Scotland.
Photo: Nilfanion Wikimedia Commons
Annie, Lady Jerningham (1850-1902), philanthropist. Her memorial, a white marble statue on grey granite base, signed: O. P. Penachini, dated 1906, was erected 1908. Listed Grade II. For further details see Historic England and Paul Usherwood, Jeremy Beach and Catherine Morris, Public Sculpture of North-East England, LUP 2000, pp. 14-15.
Sculptor: O. P. Pennacchini
Designers: Sir Hubert Jerningham and Walter Ingram
Location: Bankhill, Marygate, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland.
Photo: David Wright from geograph.org.uk
Amy Johnson CBE (1903-1941), pioneering aviator, first woman to fly solo from England to Australia. The statue in Portland stone on a concrete base was erected by the Amy Johnson Memorial Committee on 18 June 1974.
Sculptor: Harry Ibbetson
Location: In front of shopping centre, Prospect Street, Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire.
Photo: © Copyright Jennifer Petrie from geograph.org.uk
Amy Johnson CBE (1903-1941), pioneering aviator, first woman to fly solo from England to Australia. The statue, a life-size bronze, was commissioned by the Amy Johnson Herne Bay Project, Amy Johnson Festival and Keepmoat to mark the 75th anniversary of her tragic death. It forms the focal point of Keepmoat’s housing development at Hawthorne Avenue, Hull and was unveiled in 2016. Amy Johnson was born in Hull and lived close by. There is an identical cast at Herne Bay, Kent.
Sculptor: Stephen Melton (b.1964)
Location: Hawthorne Avenue, Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire.
Amy Johnson CBE (1903-1941) was a pioneering aviator and first woman to fly solo from England to Australia. She died when her aircraft ditched in the Thames Estuary in 1941, her body and her plane were never recovered. This life-size bronze was commissioned by the Amy Johnson Herne Bay Project, Amy Johnson Festival and Keepmoat to mark the 75th anniversary of her tragic death close to Herne Bay. It was unveiled 17 September 2016. There is an identical cast at Hawthorne Avenue, Hull.
Sculptor: Stephen Melton (b.1964)
Location: The promenade, Herne Bay, Kent.
Amy Johnson CBE (1903-1941), aviator. This Art Deco high relief entitled, Speed, the modern Mercury, carved in Portland stone 1934, depicts Amy Johnson in her flying clothes.
Sculptor: Edmund C. Thompson (1898-1961)
Assistant: George T. Capstick (1885-1961)
Architect: Herbert Jack Rowse (1887-1963)
Location: Mersey Tunnel ventilation shaft, Liverpool, Merseyside.
Ann Haydon Jones CBE (b.1938), table tennis and tennis player, who won eight Grand Slam championships during her tennis career. A bronze portrait bust of Jones was commissioned to be displayed at Wimbledon.
Sculptor: Ian Rank-Broadley (b.1952)
Location: All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon, London SW19.
Photo: Tracy Jenkins / Art UK
Julia . This portrait statue of a named young woman, ‘Julia’, was cast in bronze from a ciment fondu figure. After an attempted theft from Sewell Harris Close in Harlow in 2012, Rubinstein had a resin cast made for this site and the bronze was moved indoors, first to the Gibberd Gallery and then to Harlow Playhouse.
Sculptor: Gerda Rubinstein (b.1931)
Location: Bronze - Harlow Playhouse: Resin cast - Sewell Harris Close, Harlow, Essex.
Photo: © the artist. Photo credit: Gordon Baird / Art UK
Jackie Kay (b. 1961), writer of plays, short stories and poet. This bronze portrait bust, on Crossland Hill sandstone pillar, was unveiled on 1 July 2004. It forms part of a group of 12 Scottish poets, which are placed at intervals along the Lochside walkway. For further details see Ray McKenzie, Public Sculpture of Edinburgh, vol.1, LUP 2018, pp. 398-400.
Sculptor: Michael Snowdon (b.1931)
Letter-cutter: Vincent Butler (1933-2017)
Founder: Powderhall Bronze
Location: Lochside Walkway, Edinburgh Park, South Gyle, Edinburgh.