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The world’s first memorial sculpture to Mary Wollstonecraft, the foremother of feminism, is finally here

Following a summer of intense debate about public art and which historical figures deserve commemoration, London is welcoming a ground-breaking new sculpture by the iconic British artist Maggi Hambling CBE.

A Sculpture for Mary Wollstonecraft challenges the traditional statue form by elevating an idea, personifying the spirit, rather than depicting the individual. It will be welcomed to London’s Newington Green on Tuesday 10th November after over a decade of local campaigning and fundraising.

Friends and supporters can join the celebrations online on Tuesday 10th November following the livestreamed premier of the launch film at 7pm. (See @MaryWOnTheGreen on Facebook and @maryonthegreen on Twitter)

Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) was the foremother of feminism, an educational pioneer, and an early champion of human rights. Her Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) called for gender equality a century ahead of the suffragettes, prompting Millicent Fawcett to describe her as “the leader in that battle.” Despite her ground-breaking writing, contemporary views of her private life meant she was written out of history for far too long.

In 2010 a small group of volunteers formed the Mary on the Green campaign to get Wollstonecraft’s legacy recognised on London’s Newington Green, close to the site where she lived and worked. In 2018, one of Britain’s most distinguished contemporary artists, Maggi Hambling, was selected to design the memorial sculpture.

A Sculpture for Mary Wollstonecraft is cast in silvered bronze, the sculpture combines female forms which commingle and rise together as if one, culminating in the figure of a woman standing free. She is Everywoman, her own person, ready to confront the world. As opposed to traditional male heroic statuary, the free-standing woman has evolved organically from, is supported by, and does not forget, all her predecessors who advocated, campaigned and sacrificed themselves for women’s emancipation.

Maggi Hambling said “This sculpture encourages a visual conversation with the obstacles Wollstonecraft overcame, the ideals she strived for, and what she made happen. A vital contemporary discourse for all that is still to be achieved.”

Local resident and TV presenter Anita Rani has been a supporter of the campaign group since starring in An Amazon Stept Out, a stage production of Wollstonecraft’s life, that filled the Shaftesbury Avenue Lyric Theatre in September 2019.

Anita Rani said “We've brought Mary Wollstonecraft right back to where she had some of her best ideas - ideas that changed the world! It’s unbelievable how little known she is - especially when you find out what a pioneer she was. She was someone who just never gave up, she always fought for others, she was a badass - and it cost her. Finally, she is getting the recognition she deserves - about time too!”

Bee Rowlatt, author, journalist and chair of Mary on the Green, said “Wollstonecraft’s political legacy is huge – her ideas changed the world. It took courage to fight for human rights and education for all, even more so for someone of Wollstonecraft’s gender and background. But following her early death in childbirth her legacy was buried, in a sustained misogynistic attack. Today we are finally putting this injustice to rights.”

Download the full article pdf here...

Mary on the Green campaign gets a boost from People’s Postcode Trust

The Mary on the Green campaign, as part of the Newington Green Action Group, is thrilled to have been awarded £15,000 by People’s Postcode Trust, a grant-giving charity funded entirely by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. This generous grant takes us closer to seeing Mary on the Green in 2019!

“This generous grant comes at a crucial time for our campaign, and means that our goal of raising a memorial to human rights pioneer and local hero Mary Wollstonecraft is now within reach,” says Bee Rowlatt, Chair of Mary on the Green. “Newington Green is where some of Wollstonecraft’s boldest and most world-changing ideas took shape. This has always been a local initiative, and we can't wait to see the memorial artwork stand in the heart of the community, inspiring all those who walk by.”

Funding from People’s Postcode Trust will support the production of the memorial, designed and realised by award-winning artist Maggi Hambling. The grant will facilitate the moulding, cast, finish and installation of the ten-foot sculpture (the winning design was selected by a committee including local residents) and fund a community launch event open to school children, community members, and local and national press.

The sculpture will be a focal point for residents and tourists alike. For the community, it will stand as a reminder of Stoke Newington’s radical history and as a source of inspiration to local young people learning about equality, justice, and human rights. For visitors, it will be a place of pilgrimage for those retracing Wollstonecraft’s steps.

“We want this to be a living memorial that sparks discussion and brings people together,” says Bee Rowlatt. “Beyond that, the raising of a memorial to one of the countless women side-lined by history sends a powerful message: it’s another much-needed dent in the bronze ceiling. We are hugely grateful to the players of People’s Postcode Lottery. Their support will help ensure that Mary Wollstonecraft’s legacy remains alive and accessible, in Newington Green and beyond.”

If you’d like to contribute to making the memorial a reality, please make a donation.

Poem for Mary

MOTG supporter Moira Garland wrote this poem in honour of Wollstonecraft, for more of her work check out Pale Fire: New Writings on the Moon from The Frogmore Press

Mary Wollstonecraft speaks
You can easily discover all the facts
drunken father, rat Gilbert Imlay,
his baby, the Sweden trip to distract
me, chasing silver gone astray.
Though Paine was right, my Rights
included women too ― equality.
Girls’ lives and schooling in my sights.
Two centuries past – have you forgotten me?
Will you carve my flesh and name in stone?
Yield gold for girls from seed I’ve sown?
Power over yourselves― where there’s a will
there’s a way to go until
the words you take are my demands,
your strength, your inheritance.

Moira Garland

Tom Watson supports us again

"We need more memorials to the great women of our country"

A huge thanks to the brilliant Tom Watson, who celebrated International Women's Day with a show of support for Mary on the Green!

Mary on the Green in Town & Country UK

Maggi Hambling CBE pays tribute to her feminist icon

"In an ambitious new project, the leading contemporary artist Maggi Hambling plans to honour the 18th-century writer and philosopher Mary #Wollstonecraft - widely deemed the 'foremother of feminism' - with the creation of a commemorative statue [...] Situated in Newington Green, where Wollstonecraft once lived and ran a school for girls, it will serve as a source of inspiration for locals and visitors to the north-east London neighbourhood." We were delighted to see our grassroots. volunteer-led campaign featured in this fantastic piece from Town & Country magazine.

New Supporter

We are delighted to have won support from the Henry Moore Foundation:

A Winner!

The Mary on the Green (MOTG) campaign is delighted to announce our winner: the pioneering British artist Maggi Hambling CBE. She will create the world's first memorial sculpture celebrating the foremother of feminism, Mary Wollstonecraft.

"I'm really excited at the prospect of realising my idea, inspired by the trailblazer Mary Wollstonecraft. I hope the piece will act as a metaphor for the challenges women continue to face as we confront the world," said Maggi Hambling.

MOTG Patron Jude Kelly said: "Maggi Hambling, herself a modern legend, is a wonderful choice to capture the spirit and strength of Wollstonecraft."

The judges were unanimous in their agreement that this is a radical proposal embodying radical ideas. The figure, an everywoman, emerges out of organic matter, almost like a birth. This evokes Newington Green as the birthplace of feminism, and echoes Wollstonecraft's claim to be "the first of a new genus." It will be a tangible inspiration to local young people, and will feature her words: "I do not wish women to have power over men but over themselves."

Bee Rowlatt, MOTG chair, said: "This mould-breaking work of art will provoke debate, which is what public art should do, and which is what Wollstonecraft did her whole life!"

The great news has been celebrated by the London Evening Standard here.
And by Stylist magazine here.
And here in the Guardian too!
Also we're always happy to have local support from the Hackney Citizen.

Radical Tea Towel

A huge thanks to our lovely friends at Radical Tea Towel who kindly donated £281 to help us break the bronze ceiling in their charity giveaway. Our campaign relies on supporters like these - please dig deep and help us if you can as we enter this next exciting phase!

Thank you

Thanks to everyone who supported us during International Women's Day week when we had the triple whammy of our Men's Letter in the Guardian; the launches of #MinuteForMary and our PETITION to Mayor Sadiq Khan, and last but not least: finally the announcement of our artist shortlist!

Jeremy Corbyn launches MotG campaign

Leader of the Opposition Jeremy Corbyn launched our #MinuteForMary campaign with this speech and we thank him for his long term support - he's backed us all the way.

New MotG Homepage

Massive thanks to content strategist Hannah Adcock for generously giving her time and talents for our website redesign. Buy her book

Call to celebrate Mary Wollstonecraft

The Rt Hon Maria Miller MP joining the call to celebrate Mary Wollstonecraft, with David Robinson and our very own Sarah Gulamhusain

Matthew Parris

A proud history of promoting the mother of feminism here from our newest supporter Matthew Parris

MaryOnTheGreen announces a new Patron

MaryOnTheGreen welcomes Jude Kelly as a new patron to the charity

Sustainable change with Motg supporter Penny Walker

Penny led the Motg team in a pro bono session on facilitation and strategy that was tailor-made, super-efficient and very inspiring indeed. Our warmest thanks to Penny!

Packed house for Wollstonecraft lecture

Mary on the Green's Bee Rowlatt brought Mary to the location of her marriage and burial: St Pancras Old Church


Wollstonecraft and friends at Newington Green Action Group's annual free festival Jazz on the Green

Labour Leader mentions Wollstonecraft

Wollstonecraft was the climax of Labour Leader's political speech The legacy of Mary Wollstonecraft brought about thunderous applause in Corbyn's final general election speech.

The Wollstonecraft App

Announcement of the forthcoming Smartphone application

MaryOnTheGreen has announced the forthcoming free walking tour for Mary App. The App will offer information on Mary, the Charity and support a walking tour of Mary's sites.

Between now and the full release we would welcome information related to places Mary visited. Please email us your suggestions.

BadassWomen from History

WOW Festival at London's South Bank Centre

MOTG's Bee Rowlatt chaired BADASS FEMINISTS FROM HISTORY, a sold-out session at the Southbank WOW Festival (featuring new MOTG supporter Kathy Lette, the Guardian's Kira Cochrane and Sughra Ahmed, pictured) on celebrating the amazing women who've changed our world: Click here for details.

Mary on the Green Chair, Bee Rowlatt, talks to Indian press about what hasn't changed for women since Wollstonecraft's time

Wollstonecraft caused ripples at the Jaipur Literature Festival in India

School Memories of Wollstonecraft

by MOTG supporter Amy Rodwell

Read RHS Alumna Amy Rodwell’s story of re-discovering the significance of her school house’s figurehead.

Limited editions still available

A portrait print makes a perfect present

This is the full-length image by street artist Stewy that appeared in Newington Green on International Women's Day. The artwork has been donated by the artist, so every penny goes to support the Mary on the Green campaign. Please buy a 2D Mary, and help the 3D memorial reach the Green!

The screen print is 50x70cm, on heavy stock. It is sold unframed, rolled in a protective tube, for £150. To order your original Stewy artwork, contact

stewy prints picture

New Film - MARCH

Mary on the Green's Anna Birch has been touring the country to screen her Scottish suffragette film MARCH which features an appearance by Mary (see if you can spot her!) Anna's company Fragments & Monuments creates films, publications and performances as a living monument to Mary.

Representation of the People Act

Votes 100 is commemorating 100 years of the Representation of the People Act 1918. And they are featuring this fantastic article by Dr Dana Mills, bringing Wollstonecraft one step closer to Parliament!

The Fawcett Society

The Fawcett Society published this to commemorate the anniversary of Mary Wollstonecraft's death


Both the Wollstonecraft book event, and a masterclass on A Vindication of the Rights of Woman sold out at this year's Edinburgh Book Festival!

Islington Faces

On the power of local heroes: Mary on the Green champion Roberta Wedge is featured here in Islington Faces

Dame Fiona Woolf

Mary on the Green patron Dame Fiona Woolf inspiring our supporters at an event supported by the international law firm Holman Fenwick Willan

Dame Fiona Woolf

Cycling - Fund-raising event

Our very own Barbara Hearn OBE cycled 60 miles, raising over £500 for Mary on the Green. Here are her tired but valiant legs, and here is her blog! Thank you Barbara

Barbara Hearn OBE

Holman Fenwick run for Mary

Our friends at law firm Holman Fenwick ran the British 10K London run, raising a whopping £1,730. Here's one of the runners, Nigel, being cheered by Roberta and Bee from the MOTG team

Bee and Roberta

Mary on the Green featured on BBC Magazine

Click here for more information

Bee Rowlatt talks about Mary on the Green

Bee Rowlatt talks about Mary on the Green in a BBC interview streamed live on Facebook

Click here to watch it

Fund-raising event

All funds from this Dartmouth Park Talk went to Mary on the Green

Click here for more information

Dartmouth Park Talk

News Article

Mary on the Green featured in the online magazine Standard Issue: Click here


We are delighted to announce that an anonymous donor has generously given £30,000 to Mary on the Green. This puts us well on our way towards giving Mary Wollstonecraft the long-overdue recognition that she so richly deserves.

Charity 10k fund raising event

Our friends at law firm Holman Fenwick are running 10k to raise funds! Check their progress and please support them: Click here

British Academy Event - Wollstonecraft from nobody to somebody

Wollstonecraft: from nobody to somebody

On the 9th June the British Academy and Mary on the Green's Roberta Wedge joined for a special afternoon exploring Mary Wollstonecraft in "the village that changed the world", Newington Green.

The event provided an intriguing introduction to the British Academy's panel discussion, Thinkers for our time: Mary Wollstonecraft

Stunning news!!!

Nicky Morgan, Education Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities, indicates Government support for a statue to Mary Wollstonecraft, alongside Tom Watson, Deputy Leader of Labour, and Jeremy Corbyn, our long supporting MP and now Labour Leader.

Click here for information

Comments from leading politicians

Jeremy Corbyn, local MP and leader of the Labour Party, calls for more statues honouring women

Click here for information

Great article by Sarah Jackson

Statues of Mary Wollstonecraft and Sylvia Pankhurst should be just the start

Click here for information

Run For Mary

8th March, Bring Lights, Bring Attitude

run for mary

Coming Soon !


Mary on the Green will be at WOW Festival this year, in events on Friday 11th and Saturday 12th March. Get your tickets now!


Government U-Turn

Curriculum Update

A governmental U-turn means that Mary Wollstonecraft will no longer be the only woman represented in A-level politics. MP Rupa Huq urged her parliamentary colleagues not to "write women's perspectives and contributions out of our political history." Feminism is back on the curriculum!

Click here for more information.

Best Biographies

Wollstonecraft on the Independent's Best Biographies list

"An excellent exploration of the rights and roles of women, two centuries apart."

Click here for more information.

London Street named after Mary

Wollstonecraft Street

The first new residential street in 100 years has been named Wollstonecraft Street. It is in London's Kings Cross. It was chosen after a 10,000 person competition.

For more information, follow this link: Click Here

Mary on the Green Video Launch

Acclaimed Reviews

The launch of Mary on the Green's short film was acclaimed on both sides of the Atlantic, receiving wide-spread support here and being featured on American public radio:

For more information, follow this link: Click Here


Dr Andrea Schlieker

We are delighted to announce that curator and White Cube director, Dr Andrea Schlieker joined the MOTG team as our Visual Arts Consultant

Wollstonecraft Appears!


Overnight Wollstonecraft appeared outside Newington Green Unitarian Church, courtesy of local street artist Stewy. The site is attracting fans and pilgrims...

And was welcomed by the local press: Hackney Post     Islington Gazette     Islington Tribune

To purchase a limited edition screen print (50x70cm) for £150 email

Fifty Shades of Feminism

A published anthology by Virago features an item about Mary Wollstonecraft and mentions the Mary On The Green campaign: Click here to view book details. Click here for a review.

See Mary on the Houses of Parliament

To kickstart our major fundraising for the Mary on the Green project, we projected an image of Mary on the Houses of Parliament.

Projection image makes it onto the BBC's "Day in Pictures: 17 November":

Bee Rowlatt writes about Mary and the projection in the Times:

Bee Rowlatt Times Article

100th Anniversary of International Women's Day

Guardian article

Maev Kennedy wrote an article about Mary and our project, which you can read here: International Women's Day launch for Mary Wollstonecraft memorial


On the same day, Mary also had a plaque in her honour unveiled on Newington Green. This special event was covered by the Islington Tribune in a piece entitled: Mary Wollstonecraft gets a green plaque at Newington Green Primary... will statue be next?

Radio 4: Woman's Hour

Later that week, our project was featured in a piece on Mary Wollstonecraft for Women's Hour on BBC Radio 4. You can listen to this programme here.