The Landmark London

View our
special offers

On March 20, 1908, the courtyard of the Grand Central Hotel, known today as the Landmark London, was buzzing with celebratory energy as a procession of suffragettes escorted Emmeline Pankhurst to a “welcome back from prison” breakfast. Pankhurst, arrested three months earlier for inciting an attempt to rush the House of Commons, had been released the previous day from Holloway Prison. As was the standard practice of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), those who served terms of imprisonment with hunger-strike were celebrated with a breakfast reception on their release and military-style campaign medals were presented to honor their exceptional service and sacrifice.


Emmeline Pankhurst, c. 1908 in prison clothes

Suffragette Hunger Strike Medal


Pankhurst’s breakfast was celebrated in the hotel’s ballroom which retained many of its original features to this day. The ballroom was notably located on the right-hand side of the hotel, which contained more masculine touches like heavy and dark wood paneling (as opposed to the left-side which emphasized lighter, feminine details and intricate plasterwork). That the suffragettes selected the ballroom for their celebration is a fitting reminder of their rebellion against society’s expectations of what a women should be.



Suffragette Parade for Emmeline Pankhurst passing through Parliament Square on March 19, 1908


Pictures of banquets held in the ballroom around this time and menus suggest the guests would have sat in an angular horseshoe shape and feasted on popular British breakfast fare of the day such as kippers and kedgeree between rousing bouts of inspirational speeches. Today guests can toast to these courageous women while enjoying brunch at the hotel’s Winter Garden, located in the stunning atrium which was once the courtyard where Pankhurst arrived via horse-drawn carriage.



The Landmark London Ballroom, circa 1908


This has been a Historic Hotels History Mystery
For more fun facts, trivia, and historic highlights, check out our History Mystery pages for Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide. Subscribe to our newsletter below and follow us on social media to play along.

Question:
The Landmark London, formerly known as the Grand Central Hotel, hosted a “Welcome Back from Prison” feast for this famous suffragette…

  1. Emily Davison
  2. Susan B. Anthony
  3. Emmeline Pankhurst
  4. Edith Garrud
Special Offer

Optional Push

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur.

Learn More

Sign up for our Newsletter

Partners

  • HHA Logo
  • NTHP Logo
  • STE Logo