Women's Institute, Llanfair Pwllgwyngyll Papers

Scope and Content

This collection consists of documents accumulated by the Llanfair Pwllgwyngyll Women's Institute, spanning the period from its foundation in 1915 till the 50th anniversary in 1965.

It includes minute books of committee and general meetings; two box files and one album containing correspondence and miscellaneous records and papers; a typescript copy of A Grain of Mustard Seed, an Account of the founding of the first Women's Institute in Great Britain with extracts from its Minute Books by Constance Davies, President of the Institute; letters addressed to Constance Davies, 1952-1954, mainly relating to the publication of her work in 1954. Also contains a printed copy of Women's Institute: The Story of the Women's Institute Movement, by J.W. Robertson Scott (1925) and a file of papers relating to the Institute's 50th anniversary celebrations in 1965.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Women's Institute, Llanfair Pwllgwyngyll, Anglesey, founded in 1915, has the distinction of being the first of its kind in Great Britain. A meeting, convened by Stapleton Cotton, governor of the Agricultural Organisation Society, at Llanfair Pwllgwyngyll in 1915 voted for officers and a committee of seven, electing Mrs Cotton, as President, Mrs W.E. Jones as Vice President and Treasurer and Mrs Florence Wilson as Honorary Secretary. The first Women's Institute worldwide, an offshoot of the Farmer's Institute, was founded by Mrs Adelaide Hoodless and Mr Erland Lee, at Stoney Creek, Canada in 1897.

The Women's Institute in the early 20th century, aimed to promote the role of rural women in meeting the changing needs of an agricultural economy, using community action and solidarity. It sought to promote "better living" in rural areas by encouraging the use of more advanced methods in animal husbandry, horticulture and domestic economy, through technical education and training. These aims were based on the work of Sir Horace Plunkett, agricultural pioneer and founder of the first Agricultural Organisation Society and the agricultural cooperative movement.


Material was received on separate occasions and incorporated into the General Collection of Bangor Manuscripts .

Access Information

Open to all users

Acquisition Information

Deposited by Dr Constance Davies, President and Honorary Secretary of the Women's Institute.


Description compiled by Anne Lenaghan, October 2001

Other Finding Aids

Item level word-processed list is available at the Archives Department of the University of Wales, Bangor. Reference numbers: General Collection of Bangor Manuscripts: 11850-11852, 11503-11506, 13961, 16510, 24074

Conditions Governing Use

Usual copyright conditions apply. Reprographics are made at the discretion of the Archivist.


Constance Davies, A Grain of Mustard Seed: an Account of the founding of the first Women's Institute in Great Britain, with extracts from its Minute Books, Bangor (1954) and Denbigh (1989)

J.W. Robertson Scott, Women's Institute: The Story of the Women's Institute Movement, Oxford (1925)