The Original Garden Visitor's Guide

A Celebration of the Women of Middleton and the estates of Wales

Day one will focus on women associated with the rich history of the Garden’s Middleton Hall Estate and is aimed at a non-specialist audience.

The second day, organised by ISWE, will look more closely at the broader cultural and social influences that women have had on Wales.

Saturday 24th November – Middleton Women through the ages The first day focuses on the women of Middleton Hall estate. It will include talks, walks and a poster exhibition providing an insight into the history of the women associated with Middleton Hall, now the home of the National Botanic Garden of Wales. Of key significance, and the inspiration for the weekend, is Alice Abadam. Born at Middleton Hall in 1856 Alice Abadam was very active in the women’s suffrage movement from 1904 onwards. She has been described as:- “one of the suffragette movement’s most prolific public speakers in early 20th century […] she both reflected upon the culmination of a marathon struggle and euphorically anticipated the dawn of a glowing future. […] She travelled all over the British Isles speaking on women’s suffrage and often addressed two meetings a day.”

Sunday 25th November – Patriarchal Paradigms – the roles and experiences of women on the landed estates of Wales

For generations, women played a critical part in the social and cultural life of Wales’ landed estates.

The extraordinary biographies and achievements of elite women such as Lady Llanover, the Davies sisters of Gregynog, Catrin of Berain and the ‘Ladies of Llangollen’ are increasingly recognised as important parts of the story of Wales. Similarly, the widespread interest in family history over the last decade has played its part in fostering a recognition of the lives of the thousands of women who were employed as domestic servants – maids, cooks, housekeepers, charwomen and wet nurses – by the landed proprietors of Wales.

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