Songs, Words And Sounds: Celebrate Women's Achievements At Leadenhall Market

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Songs, Words And Sounds: Celebrate Women's Achievements At Leadenhall Market

This is a sponsored article on behalf of City of London.

Annie Kenney

Did you know that Leadenhall Market — first established in the 14th century for the sale of game and poultry — was one of the first places in London where women were permitted to work?

From 22-23 September, in a nod to the building's role in women's history, Leadenhall Market hosts City of Women, an immersive event celebrating the achievements of women.

Acclaimed audio composer Iain Chambers uses songs, sounds and the words of women — from fishwives to healers, thieves to activists — to show their historic struggle for freedom of thought, religion, and the right to vote.

Expect to hear from historic figures like Emmeline Pankhurst, defending herself at the Old Bailey, and tough talk from notorious cross-dressing pickpocket Moll Cutpurse, as well as modern day figures like former BBC China Editor Carrie Gracie, and her battle for equal pay — a pertinent reminder that despite progress, equality is still some way off.

Mary Wollstonecraft

The choir from City of London School for Girls, as well as various soloists, will also be in attendance, delighting audiences with performances of five new anthems — featuring excerpts from Emmeline Pankhurst's 1913 speech 'Freedom or Death', campaigner Cicely Hamilton’s suffragette anthem ‘The March of the Women’, and poetry by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

There'll be semi-dramatised texts and recordings from women taking place between the performances too, so it's worth dropping by for more than just the soundscape. In a city — indeed, a world — that so often has its history painted as male-dominated, these auditory experiences prove a valuable opportunity to view history through the eyes of those of the opposite sex.

It's all part of the City of London's Women: Work and Power season of events, shining a light on some of women's most extraordinary, surprising and sometimes forgotten stories.


City of Women is a completely free experience, with immersive 30 minute performances taking place on the hour, every hour from 11am-2pm. Find it at Leadenhall Market from 22-23 September 2018. Click here to find out more about the City of London's Women: Work and Power programme.

Last Updated 14 September 2018