Anne Clough

A few weeks ago, we spotted a plaque on Rodney Street, in Liverpool, marking the birthplace of Arthur Hugh Clough and his sister, Anne Clough. I knew a little but about Arthur Hugh Clough's poetry, but knew nothing at all about his sister, Anne Clough. 

I was surprised to discover that Anne Clough was a rather remarkable woman, and a renowned educator. In 1852 she opened a school at Ambleside. As a strong supporter of the movement for the higher education of women, she played a prominent part in founding the North of England Council for Promoting the Higher Education of Women and was its secretary (1867–70) and president (1873–74). She persuaded James Stuart, the founder of university extension programmes, to give lecture courses in the North of England, which led to the admission of women to the colleges at Manchester and Newcastle. When Henry Sidgwick planned a house for women students at Cambridge, Clough was selected as principal, a position she held until her death. The house was started in 1871 with five students, and its success led to the building of Newnham Hall (1875) and the foundation of Newnham College (1880).

In recognition of her dedication and contribution to education, she is commemorated in a stained glass window in the Lady Chapel, within Liverpool Cathedral.

On Friday, we grabbed an hour away from work and headed down to the Cathedral, to look at the window, as well as enjoying the spectacular Cathedral. Every time I visit Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral, I am blown away by its sheer size. As a student, I lived on Gambier Terrace, opposite the Cathedral, and was awoken every Sunday by the clamour of bells. 

Gambier Terrace seen from the cathedral

I am also proud that my maternal Grandfather spent many years working on the building of this amazing edifice. He was also very proud of this work, which was only interrupted by the Second World War.

Anne and Arthur Hugh Clough are also recognised in the Hope Street Suitcase sculpture, in  Liverpool. Their contribution to education and poetry is recognised in suitcase number five.