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City to Commemorate Suffragettes

Hereford Cathedral have recently unveiled their Violet Plaques Project which has seen eleven temporary plaques installed across the city in key locations to commemorate moments within the suffragette movement.

The project sees eleven temporary plaques installed across the city in historically relevant locations. The idea for the violet plaques arose during the research phase of the Eastern Cloisters Project, a Heritage Lottery Funded project based within the cloisters of Hereford Cathedral. The aim of the Eastern Cloisters Project is to renovate the area and open them up to the general public for special events and activities. The research phase has uncovered many interesting stories from the archives of the cathedral including the story of the Reverend George Davis and his wife Ethel, who lived in No 7 The Cloisters.

The timing of the project also coincides with the upcoming Three Choirs Festival in Hereford which will see Dame Ethel Smyth’s Mass in D performed as part of the opening night programme on Saturday 28 July. Smyth was a high-profile member of the suffragette movement and the original score of Mass in D is currently on display as part of the Sounds Divine Exhibition in the Mappa Mundi & Chained Library Exhibition at Hereford Cathedral.

Other key locations which will feature the Violet Plaques include the Hereford Times Office, the Bishop’s Palace, St Martin’s Church, and Herefordshire Archives and Records Centre (HARC).

Many thanks to all the venues hosting the plaques, which will be in place until 6 August. To find out more information about the stories behind plaques you can visit the Hereford Cathedral website,,  or check out the hashtag: #VioletPlaques to share your own photos and stories.

An information sheet giving the more about the people and places is also available online.

As well as celebrating women, the plaques also recognise the significance of the men who were campaigning for equality during the 19th and 20th centuries.