Doreen Valiente, mother of modern witchcraft

Today is Beltane, the ancient Celtic festival that marks the beginning of summer, and is celebrated by the Wicca movement. Today we celebrate one of Brighton’s most intriguing women, the mother of modern witchcraft, Doreen Valiente (1922 – 1999). In … Continued

Philanthropic Mrs Marriott

We are currently seeing an upsurge in communities coming together and supporting each other. Today’s blog of pioneering women of Sussex, by curator Alexandra Loske, focuses on the little known Mrs Marriott who set up a series of almshouses to … Continued

Pioneering film director, Ida Lupino

Today marks 67 years since the release of the spine-chilling film, The Hitch-Hiker. With it, director, Ida Lupino made cinema history by becoming the first woman to direct a film noir.  Ex Brighton and Hove High School pupil, Ida Lupino … Continued

The Marvellous Mrs Mary Merrifield

Curator Alexandra Loske is excited to discover that artist and writer Mary Philadelphia Merrifield was also a pioneering dress historian. She explains more in our new blog in the series 100 Pioneering Women of Sussex . Anita Corbin’s exhibition of … Continued

The incredible life of Phoebe Hessel, (1713 – 1826)

One of the most remarkable graves in Brighton’s historic St Nicholas Churchyard is that of Phoebe Hessel. The stone, its letters now almost rubbed away with age, tells her exciting life story:  ‘Here lies Phoebe Hessel, born in Stepney in the … Continued