Blue Plaque to Emily and Elizabeth Sturge

June 2021
Past Headmistresses and pupils from Redland High and The Redmaid’s Schools joined members of the Sturge family, RCAS and the Bristol Civic Society at the gates of Redland Court, formerly Redland High Girls’ School, to unveil a Blue Plaque to Emily and Elizabeth Sturge.

 Headmistress Caroline Bateson said “ It is very fitting now that two women who were key contributors to the early establishment of Redland High School are being commemorated in this way”

 

Headmistress Perdita Davidson, researched the lives of the two women who were born in Cotham in 1847 and 1849. Both Emily and Elizabeth Sturge were involved in the early years of Redland High and served on its governing body. Emily was the very first woman invited to join the Council and Elizabeth was invited to join in 1896 at a time when the movement for girls’ secondary education was gathering momentum in Bristol.
Emily, a member of the National Society for Women’s Suffrage and Secretary of its West of England branch, was also a leading figure in the Bristol Women’s Liberal Association.
In her 20’s Elizabeth took up a position with visionary Bristol social reformer, Mary Carpenter, who established the School at Red Lodge on Park Row, its mission to give some level of education to the poor girls of Bristol.
Emily sadly died aged 45 in a riding accident, whilst Elizabeth lived to see the first and second world wars. She died at the age of 95 in 1944.
Both women dedicated their lives to the active expression of their convictions and, as a consequence, have improved the lives of untold numbers of girls who have followed them and benefited from their determination to bring about change.