Ten Birmingham Women (ON DEMAND RECORDING)

Winterbourne House and Garden were designed in 1903 as a family home for John and Margaret Nettlefold of Guest, Keen and Nettlefold, the great iron and steel company of the industrial revolution.
They commissioned local architect Joseph Lancaster Ball to design and build the house, which was finished in 1904. Winterbourne is a rare surviving example of an early 20th century suburban villa and garden originally designed as a small country estate with rustic outbuildings and a large 7 acre garden. Winterbourne followed the style of the Arts and Crafts movement with examples of local craftsmanship throughout the house. Margaret Nettlefold designed the garden, inspired by the books and garden designs of Gertrude Jekyll. In the 1940s the house became part of the University of Birmingham, and the garden served as the Botany Department’s research garden. Today, the site is open to the public as a museum and botanical garden.
This talk revolves around Margaret Nettlefold, a well-educated and confident Victorian woman, born into a prominent Birmingham industrial dynasty and destined to marry into another, “Artistic, housewifely, shopping, marketing & bluestocking, all in one day – besides athletic!” (Margaret Nettlefold’s diary, October 1890). It draws upon objects from the collection held at Winterbourne House and Garden – to explore her life and those of other women associated with her. We meet suffragettes, academics, artists, a ladies’ maid – and a baby.
Henrietta is Collections Officer at Winterbourne House and Garden. She has worked in the museums and heritage sector since 2000, and was Curator of History at Birmingham Museums Trust for several years.

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