Caxton Hall in Caxton Street
Caxton Hall in Caxton Street
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Caxton Hall in Caxton Street
SC_PHL_01_454_74_3471 (Collage 128713)
London Metropolitan Archives: LCC Photograph Library
A view of the front elevation of Caxton Hall, 8-10 Caxton Street, Westminster. The elaborate brick and sandstone building has two main storeys over the basement and two further attic storeys. A canopy over the entrance in Caxton Street stretches over part of the pavement. Several pedestrians can be seen and several cars are parked in the road including Triumph Herald coupe with registration number HYR202C and a Ford Cortina Mark III with registration number YDK263L. Built as Westminster Town Hall, it was named Caxton Hall around 1900 to commemorate the early printer William Caxton. From 1933 it was a central London register office and was the site of many society marriages. Caxton Hall became a key site in the campaign for women’s suffrage in the early twentieth century. It was chosen as the venue for the first large meeting in London of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), founded in Manchester in 1903 by Emmeline Pankhurst. Following the meeting on 19 February 1906 women marched to the House of Commons and found the Strangers’ Entrance to the lobby, usually a public space, was closed to women but some managed to get in and attempted to lobby their MPs. On 13 February 1907 the WSPU held its first “Women’s Parliament” at Caxton Hall. The WSPU held 10 Women’s Parliaments at Caxton Hall between February 1907 and November 1911, and the building provided the backdrop to some of the best known events of the Union’s militant campaign. Particularly violent treatment by the police in 1910 resulted in the campaigners resorting to greater militancy and later, attacks on property escalated. Dating from 1878-82, Caxton Hall was Grade II listed in 1984; listing number 1357266.
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