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Covering 600 years, four distinct themes, and 20 separate stories, Women’s Weeds shares the complex ways in which women have contributed towards scientific achievements and the cultural context of how and why many of their stories have been lost.   

This history is not about heroes or one or two stand-out women. Countless women did the work of healing within their families and sharing knowledge within their communities. These handed-down heritages of healing were part of oral traditions and not written down. The fragments that remain do not tell the whole story. We can grasp at snippets, but the real story is massive, complex, silent, ubiquitous.

Beginning in the Herb Garden, we explore the cunning women and magical midwives of Mediaeval Europe in the time of the witch trials. Next, the visitor is guided to the Knot Garden and 1600s Stuart Garden, where we learn of the herbal books and kitchen physic of the Early Modern Herbal Healers. Our next journey will be a difficult one. We enter the 1700s garden and delve into the darkness of Colonial Botany. It is here where we discover the Amerindian and African stories of the colonial West Indies. We emerge from this experience into the Victorian feminist fight for equality in scientific recognition and education.  

Our 600-year journey then ends with you—what will you do with what you’ve learned when you step out of our garden and back onto the bustling streets of our modern world?   

Come and listen. Engage with the stories on your own time, at your own pace. Audio offers privacy to feel what these stories might bring up and mean for you. Audio is also invisible. The women in these stories have been invisible, but now they will live on in your mind and imagination.  

Women’s Weeds: The hidden history of women in medicine
Image: Landis Brown

General Info

Admission / Cost FREE

Venue / Location

Museum of the Home More Info

Address: 136 Kingsland Rd
136 Kingsland Rd
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Public Transport Hoxton Station
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